In Arapahoe, Douglas and Denver County, people charged with burglary are accused of going inside a structure with the intent to commit a crime. This can involve a house, a business or even a locked container. The element of this crime are what separate it from the crime of trespass, where there is merely an unlawful entry. The defendant who is arrested and prosecuted will be alleged to have been trying to commit an underlying crime following an unlawful entry – usually something like theft or assault. This offense increases in severity if a residence is entered, and is least severe with a container. While a business is a private place where no one should enter without permission (2nd Degree Burglary), Colorado values the sanctity of the home the most.
Second Degree Burglary can Involve Failure to Leave
Second Degree Burglary involves allegations that a person unlawfully entered a building with the intent to commit any crime while there. In Jefferson and Adams County, this crime can also be charged if the person entered the building lawfully, but then remained there illegally / unlawfully. An example would be where someone hid in a dressing room of a store after it closed. Commonly, Second Degree Burglary involves allegations that the person intended to commit theft or assault, while unlawfully on someone else’s real property.
An experienced attorney will evaluate whether the District Attorney can actually prove that the accused had the intent to commit an underlying criminal act. Lack of intent is a possible defense in these cases. Second Degree Burglary is a Class Four Felony if the building is a business or other industrial or commercial property. If it is a dwelling (house) which was entered, this crime is charged as a class 3 felony. Second Degree Burglary can also be charged as a class 3 felony if the accusation involves intent to steal a controlled substance (i.e. breaking into a pharmacy would be a class 3 felony).
Lawful Conduct to Get Property Back can Amount to Burglary
Burglary charges often result from otherwise lawful conduct, after permission to enter a place has been rescinded. This might occur after being fired from a business, when an employee returns to get back his personal items but has been told to stay away. There are many other variations of this crime which is often overcharged.
If contacted by police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call our experienced criminal defense lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.