In Jefferson, Adams, and Broomfield County, men and women charged with burglary are accused of unlawfully entering a home, business, facility or locked structure with the intent to commit a crime. This crime element is what separates this crime from simply trespassing. The person charged must intend to commit an underlying crime and most typically that involves allegations of intent to commit theft, but it could be any underlying crime like vandalism or assault. The degree or severity of the offense depends on the type of facility that was entered unlawfully and the underlying crime.
3rd Degree Burglary – No House, No Building
Third Degree Burglary is the least serious and lowest degree of this charge. It involves allegations that a person broke into a vault, safe or locked container. In this case, the underlying crime is almost always theft. Typically, Third Degree Burglary is a class 5 felony in Colorado and carries potential penalties of 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections. If the allegation is that the intent was to steal drugs, then the crime is elevated to a class 4 felony carrying a potential sentence of 2-6 years in the Department of Corrections.
Lawful Conduct Can be Charged as Burglary
The broad nature of the word “locked container”, makes this crime applicable in many circumstances where you would not normally think of burglary. Imagine the case where a boyfriend is trying to get his things following a breakup. He tries to unlock a cabinet where his things are stored, only to find his ex has changed the lock. If he breaks into the cabinet, he can be charged with this felony crime. As with many of our crimes today, this crime is often charged where a person had no intent to steal, but crossed a definitional line in trying to do a lawful act.
With the complexity of the Burglary statutes, C.R.S. 18-4-202, 18-4-203, and 18-4-204, in Colorado, you need a criminal defense lawyer in the Denver metro area to protect you. So, if you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.