Dedicated Legal Defense Against Burglary Charges
Under Colorado law, burglary is defined as knowingly entering unlawfully (or unlawfully remaining in) a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime other than trespass against another person or property. The crime of burglary is classified in three different degrees based on severity, the type of property, and the level of threat caused to potential victims. Upon conviction of the most serious burglary charges, penalties may include a lengthy prison sentence and heavy fines.
What Are the Degrees of Burglary in Colorado?
Burglary can be charged in the first degree, the second degree, or the third degree, with the first degree being the most serious:
- First degree: Burglary in the first degree involves knowingly entering the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. In addition, this offense contains the aggravating elements of possessing a deadly weapon or committing assault on a person. Assault is knowingly committing threats or physical action that places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. First-degree burglary is charged as a Class 3 felony and is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. When the crime is first-degree burglary of a controlled substance, it is charged as a Class 2 felony and punishable by a prison sentence of eight to 24 years and a fine of $5,000 to $1 million.
- Second degree: A person who knowingly breaks into a building (or remains there unlawfully after entering lawfully or unlawfully) with the intent to commit a crime against a person or property has committed second-degree burglary. Second-degree burglary is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Third degree: In the third degree, burglary involves entering or breaking into a vault, safe, cash register, safety deposit box, coin box, money repository, coin telephone, coin vending machine, product dispenser, or other equipment with the intent to commit a crime. This offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Conviction could mean up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $750.
What Are the Legal Defenses Against Burglary?
Defenses our Colorado theft crime defense lawyer can raise in your case will depend on the surrounding circumstances. Possible defenses to charges of burglary include:
- Mistaken identity: You are not the person who committed the crime.
- Lawfully on the premises: You had a right to enter the property, or you entered lawfully.
- Lack of knowledge: You did not know you were entering the property unlawfully.
- Lack of intent: You did not intend to commit a crime after entering the property.
- Police misconduct: Law enforcement officers may have violated your rights in gathering evidence or arresting you.
Why Do You Need the Services of a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you have been charged with burglary, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. With dedicated legal defense, depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. Your best hope for the most favorable outcome is to have legal representation with the knowledge and skills to aggressively fight the charges.
Why Choose Us?
At Welsh Law, LLC, we are passionate about the law and dedicated to our clients. We can provide a strong legal defense when you need it most. We are knowledgeable, experienced, and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who will fight for our clients’ freedom.
Our firm offers a free initial consultation. If you are facing burglary charges, call us today at (720) 836-1777.