Statute for 18 – 4 – 506.5 – Tampering With A Utility Meter
Here is the charge you are facing:
18-4-506.5. Tampering with a utility meter – penalty
(1) Any person who connects any pipe, tube, stopcock, wire, cord, socket, motor, or other instrument or contrivance with any main, service pipe, or other medium conducting or supplying gas, water, or electricity to any building without the knowledge and consent of the person supplying such gas, water, or electricity commits a class 2 misdemeanor.
(2) Any person who in any manner alters, obstructs, or interferes with the action of any meter provided for measuring or registering the quantity of gas, water, or electricity passing through said meter without the knowledge and consent of the person owning said meter commits a class 2 misdemeanor.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any licensed electrical or plumbing contractor while performing usual and ordinary services in accordance with recognized customs and standards.
When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases. To answer these questions, Defense Attorney turn to "case law." That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.
Colorado Penalties for Tampering With A Utility Meter
The charge of Tampering With A Utility Meter, is categorized as a:
Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.
How to Use This Information
After you have hired a Colorado Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty. These things are called “elements”.
The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Colorado Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.
Please find the model jury instruction for Tampering With A Utility Meter below. These will be adapted by your Colorado Attorney for your case.
The elements of the crime of tampering with a utility meter are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. [knowingly connected any [pipe] [tube] [stopcock] [wire] [cord] [socket] [motor] or other instrument or contrivance with any [main] [service pipe] or other medium supplying or conducting [gas] [water] [electricity] to any building, 4. without the knowledge and consent of the person supplying such [gas] [water] [electricity],] and -or- 3. [in any manner knowingly [altered] [obstructed] [interfered] with the action of any meter provided for measuring or registering the quantity of [gas] [water] [electricity] passing through said meter, 4. without the knowledge and consent of the person owning said meter,] and 5. the defendant was not any licensed electrical or plumbing contractor who performed usual and ordinary services, in accordance with recognized customs and standards. 6. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number .] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of tampering with a utility meter. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of tampering with a utility meter. NOTES ON USE Delete the inapplicable bracketed material. The definition of ?knowingly? must be given with this instruction.
To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor. Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your CO Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence. Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court. For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court. Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Tampering With A Utility Meter.
Don’t Forget about Immigration:
If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.