Graffiti or Vandalism?: Walking the Fine Line
During and after the last US presidential campaign, well-known graffiti artist, Shepard Fairey received constant attention from the media for work he did for the Obama campaign. While the work he did for the campaign did much to advance the career of one of the candidates, Mr. Fairey’s work likely caused a blurring of the line between what many people consider “art” and what many others consider graffiti—or vandalism. Indeed, with all the controversy surrounding Mr. Fairey’s work—along with the work of other popular well-known graffiti artists—many artists today could easily cross that fine line between art and vandalism and quickly find themselves facing criminal charges.
Should you find yourself charged with criminal property damage, you face serious consequences including heavy fines, prison sentences, felony charges—depending on which offense—and even suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. The sentence you receive, should the judge convict you of the crime, depends on both the number of offenses and the value of the damage to another’s property.
Consequences for Defacing Property (Vandalism) in the state of Colorado
-Damages less than $500 can result in 3 months to 1 year in jail $250 to $1,000 in fines
-Damages of $500 to $1,000 can result in 6 – 18 months in jail and $500 – $5,000 in fines
-Damages of $1,000 to $5,000 can result in 2 – 6 years in prison and $2,000 to $500,000 in fines (felony charges)
-Damages of more than $20,000 can result in 4 – 12 years in prison and $3,000 to $750,000 in fines (felony charges)
To protect yourself from receiving some of the harsher sentences, should you find yourself facing charges for defacing property, you should seek-out a Colorado criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. By contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately (to ensure you receive the best legal representation possible), not only could you potentially spare yourself the stress of financial penalties, you could also spare yourself a prison sentence—or even the conviction entirely. Here, you may want to consider that you can receive these same sentences for aiding or permitting the defacement of property. For instance, do you know what you would you do if you just happen to walk upon a vandal and someone accused you of having participated in the defacement of property? A solid legal defense can assist you in your efforts to protect you or someone you know from receiving a harsh or undeserved sentence.