Burglary Attorney

Potential Burglary Charges In Colorado Springs

The laws of the state of Colorado defines burglary as entering or staying in a building without permission in order to commit a crime. The intent to commit a crime is a core part of this definition, while the type of crime is not. Entering a building or dwelling uninvited with the intent to commit assault is considered burglary, as is doing so with the intent to steal.

Degrees Of Burglary

There are three different degrees of burglary addressed in the Colorado Criminal Code. When you’re charged with this crime, no matter which degree it falls under, you risk incurring severe penalties if convicted. A burglary charge that involves a weapon, for instance, can carry a mandatory prison sentence in Colorado. This is why it’s important to have an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney on your side, doing everything possible to clear your name.

The sentences and other penalties assigned in a Colorado conviction depend on the degree of the offense:

Burglary In The First Degree

First-degree burglary is the charge levied against defendants who unlawfully enter an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime, as described above. Defendants are charged with first-degree burglary when they are armed with a deadly weapon or an explosive device, or they assault or threaten to assault another person in the course of the crime.

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, this can be considered a Class 3 or 4 felony. First-degree becomes a Class 2 felony if the defendant intended to steal controlled substances such as drugs.

A first-degree conviction can result in a prison sentence of four to 12 years and a fine of up to $750,000.

Burglary In The Second Degree

Second-degree burglary is charged when the defendant’s situation is broadly similar to that described under first-degree burglary above. The difference is that a defendant who does not possess weapons or explosives or threaten other individuals receives the lesser charge of second-degree burglary.

The Colorado Criminal Code defines second-degree burglary as a Class 4 felony.

The maximum prison sentence for this charge is six years, and the court may also impose a fine of up to $500,000.

Burglary In The Third Degree

With the other forms of burglary addressed in Colorado law, the accused individual must be suspected of entering a home, business, or other structure with the intent to commit a crime. Third-degree burglary is the charge applied when a burglar attempts to gain unlawful access to equipment or mechanisms intended to keep valuables secure.

Examples include safes, vaults, cash registers, vending machines, ATMs, safety deposit boxes, coin boxes, and public telephones.

In Colorado, this is charged as a Class 5 felony. The maximum prison sentence is three years and fines of up to $1000,000 may be imposed.

Possession of Burglary Tools

This is a Class 5 felony in Colorado, with potential penalties similar to third-degree burglary. An individual can be charged with this offense if they possess explosives, tools, or other articles that could be used to gain forcible, unlawful entrance to a premises. Theft of any such articles can also lead to a possession charge, as can the knowledge that another person intends to use such articles to effect a forcible, unlawful entry.

Colorado Burglary Convictions: The Consequences

Colorado burglary charges and convictions cannot be sealed or expunged. This means such charges are a matter of public record, visible to future employers, landlords, government agencies, and law enforcement personnel. These types of charges can make it very difficult to obtain work or rent property in Colorado Springs and or El Paso County.

This is why it’s so important to seek an experienced criminal attorney who can help you avoid a burglary conviction.


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