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In plain English, robbery and burglary mean something similar; that is, to steal from someone else. In the legal definition; however, these are different charges with different penalties, so you should know which one is affecting you or a loved one.
Burglary is the less severe term, because it means some type of unlawful entry to a structure in order to commit a theft, such as: offices, private homes, and even private property like gardens and garages. It is not used to refer to car theft. The owner of the property or the victim of the theft does not need to be on the premise at the time.
The most significant different with a robbery is the number of people involved. To commit a robbery, the individual must attempt to take property or something of value from someone else using physical force or threats and intimidation. This can be one victim or a group, like a bank robbery, but there is always a victim on the scene to classify the event as a robbery.
Burglary penalties in Colorado
In Colorado, even having the tools to commit a burglary in your possession can be a crime. Each class of burglary carries increasingly more severe possible punishment, so it’s critical to work with the experienced team at Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone P.C. to minimize your charges and associated sentences.
A third-degree burglary is a Class 5 felony that can result in up to $100,000 in fines and three years in prison. If the objective was to steal a controlled substance, then the charge can become a Class 4 felony.
A second-degree burglary is a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum potential sentence of $500,000 in fines and six years in prison. Like a third degree burglary charge, it can increase to a Class 4 felony if the aim was to take possession of controlled substances.
A first-degree burglary is a Class 3 felony that can result in up to $750,000 in fines and 12 years in prison.
The following statues specifically address each type of burglary charge.
- First-degree burglary: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-202
- Second degree burglary: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-203
- Third degree burglary: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-204
- Possession of tools for burglary: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-205
Robbery penalties in Colorado
Because robbery charges involve threats or violence to the alleged victim, the possible consequences are more serious than in a burglary case. To present the best defense and minimize or remove charges and long sentences, you need an experienced legal team with a background in violent criminal defense. A robbery charge is classed as a Class 4 felony and is punishable with fines up to $500,000 and up to six years in prison.
A robbery becomes an “aggravated robbery” if the offender was armed with a deadly weapon, or even pretends to have a deadly weapon. Injuring anyone or causing anyone to fear for his or her life is also an aggravated robbery charge. Aggravated robbery is a Class 3 felony or Class 2 felony (if it involves the theft of controlled substances). The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 24 years in prison and $1,000,000 in fines as a Class 2, and up to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines if convicted of a Class 3 felony.
The following are full statues that specifically address each type of burglary charge.
- Robbery: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-301
- Aggravated robbery: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-302
- Aggravated robbery, involving controlled substances: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-303
Building a burglary or robbery defense
When you work with experienced criminal defense lawyers in Colorado, your team will construct a defense based on your version of events. There are several possible arguments you may be eligible to make in any form of robbery or burglary defense, including mental impairment, entrapment or duress, involuntary intoxication, execution of public duty, and your age at the time of the alleged offence. Some of the initial decisions about how to plead and next steps in court will happen very shortly after an arrest, so if you or a loved one is involved in a criminal case, please contact our team immediately for a private consultation.
The details make the difference
While you can read general advice or legal definitions, every case is unique and each set of circumstances are different. That means the decisions you make will depend on your own situation, so you need personalized legal expertise to help you control your case. Please schedule a Free Consultation with our team, or read through some of our past Case Results or Client Testimonials to see how we advocate for our clients in every case.
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