In the wee hours of Easter Sunday, the 40 foot tall Denver landmark at the Denver Convention Center peers in, “I See What You Mean”, didn’t see the green paint coming. Big Blue was a victim of criminal mischief. How did these vandals ever reach the shoulder of our mighty hunk? How is the paint coming off?
This is a crime of Criminal Mischief by one or more people who knowingly damaged personal property belonging to someone else. The “someone else” is the City of Denver, its residents and The Denver Public Arts Program.
If the person that defaced or in this case, green backed, the sculpture is found, arrested and charged; taking a guilty plea could result in some very serious consequences.
In Denver, Criminal Mischief is:
- Class 2 Misdemeanor (M2) if aggregate damage to property in a single event is less than $500 market value, carries a jail term of up to 12 months and restitution.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor (M1) if aggregate damage to property in a single event is between $500-$1000 market value, it carries a jail term of up to 18 months and restitution.
- Class 4 Felony (F4) if aggregate damage to property in a single event is between $1000-$20,000 market value, it carries a presumptive sentence of up to 6 years prison and restitution.
- Class 3 Felony (F3) if aggregate damage to property in a single event is between $20,000 or more market value carries a presumptive sentence of up to 12 years prison and restitution.
In the case of the Big Blue Bear, pleading guilty is looking like a felony charge. The restitution for removing and restoring the famous work of art will be substantial. Negotiating with the prosecutor is the best possible resolution to your criminal case. If the act of tagging or painting graffiti becomes repeat behavior or a physical addiction to inhalants, a defendant may be looking at more serious consequences.
I can be reached at my law office if you have questions or concerns about a criminal mischief charge. Philip M. Smith, Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer, 303-333-8900 today for a free and confidential initial consultation.