How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 42173
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I’ve got a court date tomorrow for criminal tampering, in

This answer was rated:

I’ve got a court date tomorrow for criminal tampering, in Westminster, CO. My neighbor always has an open trash bin and garbage is constantly in my yard. At my wit’s end, I used non-destructive painter’s tape and taped some of his trash to the side of his house. It’s a misdemeanor ticket to appear in court, I’m just curious about my options.
JA: What are the exact charges? Is this a first-time offense?
Customer: It is a first time offense. I also have a clean record. I believe the ticket says criminal tampering. From my research it’s second-degree tampering.
JA: Where did this occur? Criminal law varies by state.
Customer: Westminster, Colorado. Jefferson County.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Is this a free consultation?

Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

A few minutes please, I have some thoughts and will type them up.








Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you.

What you are describing, with no prior criminal convictions, and this minor misdemeanor charge? I would show up at the arraignment (the date that they have you set to appear). Once there, the prosecutor will contact you (before you speak to the judge) with the "deal". They will offer a plea deal to encourage you to plea guilty. Most likely they will offer some combination of probation and fine.

If you are ok with the deal? Take it, move on.

If not? Then you enter a plea of not guilty and tell the judge you want to get an attorney...the judge will allow you time to do this.

The prosecutor will likely offer a deal that will only mildly inconvenience you...but if they offer something that you are not comfortable with? Hiring a lawyer is a good idea.

One more thought...if MAY be worth hiring a lawyer now...IF you do, they (the lawyer) can engage with the prosecutor before the hearing to see if they will dismiss...with no priors, this is possible. Though if the prosector refuses (and they have full discretion) the deal you get will likely be similar to what you would have gotten without hiring a lawyer. So a bit of a risk...but if you want to avoid the conviction money well spent.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks for the advice. I've got picture and video evidence of the garbage from this past weekend extending to the past year. I've also got printouts of complaints to the city's Code Enforcement department. I suppose if I take plea guilty these items are moot? Would I only get a chance to explain my actions and the history of this problem if I plead not guilty?

Yea...they are "mitigating" (so they make the crime less serious)...but will not impact if you show up with no lawyer.

This is something you hire the lawyer they can go to the prosecutor and share the evidence up front.

And I see Tomorrow is the date...I missed that earlier. Show up and see what they may be they offer a really good deal like "deferred adjudication" so that you avoid the conviction.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Any other advice when arriving at court? It's a really minor thing, I'm just nervous and a brief search showed that this Class 2 criminal tampering could mean jail time.

I understand jail is possible. But it is NOT going to happen...not with no priors and certainly not if you plea. Show up in your Sunday best, be respectful and professional with the prosecutor and I bet you leave tomorrow with a slap on the wrist.

P. Simmons and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks so much. I appreciate the help and advice.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that