Walking into the wrong house can result in being charged with First Degree Criminal Trespass (C.R.S. 18-4-502) in Douglas, Adams and Larimer County. In May of this year, Denverpost.com published an article from the Boulder Daily Camera, about a 21 year old University of Colorado woman who accidentally walked into the wrong house in Boulder County. Her blood alcohol level was 0.2, and it is doubtful she was thinking clearly enough to respond to the home owner, who had a gun and lawfully shot her. Now, she must recover from her serious wounds, and is also facing a Boulder County Class 4 Felony Trespassing charge.
Trespassing in a “dwelling” is a serious matter in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas, or Weld County. There are other ways to be charged with Trespass without going into someone’s home, and although the defendant is not always charged with a felony in those cases, all Trespass charges have the potential of lifetime consequences.
Second Degree Criminal Trespassing (C.R.S. 18-4-503), for instance, involves entering a property that is enclosed or fenced. It is usually charged as a class 3 misdemeanor unless the trespasser is on agricultural land, in which case it is charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. It will be charged as a felony if the trespasser intended to commit a felony on the property.
Third Degree Criminal Trespassing (C.R.S. 18-4-504) is a petty offense that is charged when someone unlawfully enters a property (not a dwelling) that is not fenced. It can be bumped up to a misdemeanor of it occurs on agricultural property. Like Second Degree Criminal Trespass, it will be charged as a felony, if it the defendant intended to commit a felony while on the property.
Trespassing charges are filed regularly in every county in Colorado. It is interesting to note in the article mentioned above, Boulder County’s District Attorney Stan Garnett said “our office typically prosecutes about 12 to 15 cases per year involving drunken trespassing.” The attorney’s at O’Malley Law Office, P.C. are familiar with how often these charges are filed and we know how to defend our clients. There are defenses available to these charges.
If you are arrested for Trespassing there may be defenses you will forfeit by talking to the police. Many of our client’s think if they could only explain the situation the officer will understand and let them go. This is almost never the case. Your best course of action is to be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.