Does the defendant have the right to see the physical evidence and question the estimate of damage before it is altered? 1 Answers as of April 29, 2015

If someone is charged with a felony criminal mischief based on the estimate provided by the alleged victim, does the defendant have the opportunity to question and call for a second estimate? If the alleged victim alters the physical evidence by having the vehicle fixed before discovery and defendant knowledge of damage does it alter the case? Especially when the amount of the estimate is what makes the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges?

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Miller & Harrison, LLC
Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
Certainly at a jury trial the defendant can challenge the amount of the damage the prosecution has to prove every element of a charge including the dollar value of the damages. If the jury believes the value is in the misdemeanor range then the defendant should only be convicted of a misdemeanor. If the issue is what the amount of the damage is for restitution purposes, the defendant can also challenge the amount of damages.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/29/2015
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