Criminal trespass, C.R.S. 18-4-502, is a crime that most people don’t really understand. There are several elements to Criminal Trespassing that can cause the person accused of the crime to face higher and more severe punishments. For instance, in Denver, Jefferson, or Arapahoe County, a person could be doing the same thing as someone else and one of the individuals could be facing a misdemeanor and the other a petty offense. How does this happen? It depends on the designation of the land that the person is on.
First of all, there are three distinct crimes of Criminal Trespassing. The three crimes are: First Degree Criminal Trespass, Second Degree Criminal Trespass, and Third Degree Criminal Trespass. Each crime has different elements to each charge. If someone is in the home or car of another person without permission, that is considered First Degree Criminal Trespass. If someone is in an enclosed field and the property belongs to someone else, that would be a Third Degree Criminal Trespass charge.
Criminal Trespassing also varies in the type of punishment that can be assessed against a convicted person. For example, First Degree Criminal Trespass is charged as a class 5 felony. Second Degree Criminal Trespass can be either a class 3 misdemeanor, a class 2 misdemeanor, or a class 4 felony. Finally, in places like Douglas, Adams, and El Paso County, Third Degree Criminal Trespass can be either a class 1 petty offense, a class 3 misdemeanor, or class 5 felony.
Why does the same crime vary so much for punishment? Well, the answer depends on the designation of the designation of the land and the intent of the person. If the land is anything except agricultural land, and the person has no intent to commit a crime, the punishment is the lightest one. Secondly, if the land has been designated as agricultural land, then the charge will be in the middle; either a class 2 misdemeanor or a class 3 misdemeanor. Finally, if the person who enters the area has the intent to commit a crime on the land, then the charge will be the harshest, either a class 4 or 5 felony.
As you can tell, Criminal Trespass in Larimer, Weld, and Elbert County can be very intricate in the facts and details of the case. When you hire an attorney to fight for your rights, they must be familiar with the possible punishments and outcomes that will help you receive the best outcome. So, if you or a loved one are facing charges of Criminal Trespassing, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.