Our Burglary Lawyer Has a Track Record of Success
In Colorado, a burglary and trespassing charge may be prosecuted as a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony, depending on the circumstances of the incident. Regardless of the severity of the charges you are facing, it’s imperative to have an experienced burglary lawyer on your side. At the criminal defense law firm of Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone, our trespass lawyer has handles many of these cases, working tirelessly to facilitate a favorable outcome for each client. We collaborate closely with our clients and keep them informed during each step of the criminal justice process.
Comparing Burglary and Trespassing Charges
Although the terms “burglary” and “trespassing” may sometimes be used interchangeably by the lay person, these are not the same charges. Burglary and trespass charges are both property crimes. However, in some cases, burglary may be prosecuted as a violent crime. Here’s a look at how these two charges compare:
- Trespassing – A person can be charged with trespassing if they unlawfully enter or remain on someone else’s property.
- Burglary – Like trespassing, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining on another person’s property. However, burglary also involves the intent to commit or the execution of another crime.
It should be noted that in Colorado, it’s still possible to be charged with trespassing if the defendant allegedly intended to commit or did commit a crime while unlawfully on someone else’s property. However, crimes associated with trespassing tend to be less severe than those associated with burglary. For example, if a person commits vandalism, they might be charged with trespassing, whereas if a person commits arson, they would be charged with burglary.
Taking a Closer Look at Trespassing Charges
Colorado’s state laws provide for first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree trespassing charges. The burglary and trespass lawyer at our law firm will help you understand the nature of the exact charges you’re facing. Here’s a quick look:
- First-Degree Trespass – This is a class 5 felony charge used in cases in which the defendant is accused of unlawfully entering or remaining in another person’s home, or breaking into a motor vehicle with the intention of committing another crime. If you’re convicted of first-degree trespass in Colorado, you could be sentenced to one to four years behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Second-Degree Trespass – Prosecutors use this class 3 misdemeanor charge for defendants accused of unlawfully entering or remaining on someone else’s enclosed or fenced-in property, or unlawfully entering or remaining in the common areas of a hotel, motel, apartment, condo, or someone else’s car. In certain situations, this charge may be a class 2 misdemeanor or class 4 felony. A class 4 felony is punishable by up to six years; a class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year, and a class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months. Defendants can also face fines.
- Third-Degree Trespass – This is the most clear-cut trespassing charge in Colorado, defined simply as unlawfully entering or remaining on someone else’s property. If it’s a class 1 petty offense or a class 3 misdemeanor, it’s punishable by up to six months plus fines. A class 5 felony is punishable by one to three years plus fines.
Exploring Burglary Charges in Colorado
Our burglary lawyer defends clients accused of unlawfully entering onto property with the intent to commit another crime. Note that it is not necessary for another crime to have been committed—proof of the intent is sufficient to convict.
- First-Degree Burglary – This charge is used when someone is accused of unlawful entry and the assault or menacing of another person, or the threatened use or actual use of weapons, including explosives. It’s a class 3 felony punishable by up to 12 years and up to $750,000 in fines.
- Second-Degree Burglary – Prosecutors use this charge when the defendant is accused of unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime against property or a person. It’s a class 4 felony punishable by up to six years and up to $500,000.
- Third-Degree Burglary – This charge is reserved for defendants accused of unlawfully entering into equipment or apparatuses with the intent to commit another crime. For example, they may allegedly enter a safe, vending machine, or coin box. It’s a class 5 felony punishable by up to three years and up to $100,000.
Certain circumstances may make second-degree and third-degree burglary charges more severe, such as the intent to steal controlled substances.
Request a Free Consult with Our Burglary Lawyer
The burglary and trespass lawyer at Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone, P.C. has been handling these types of criminal cases for many years. Our legal team customizes each defense strategy to suit the individual case. With an aggressive defense strategy and skillful lawyers on your side, you can enter the courtroom with confidence. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our criminal defense law firm in Denver, Colorado.