In Broomfield, Boulder and Jefferson County, people are accused of burglary for unlawfully going into or remaining in a house or business, intending to commit any type of crime (even a misdemeanor). First Degree Burglary, C.R.S. 18-4-202, is the most serious form of this crime – which is often charged when someone enters in order to make a financial gain or support themselves through crime. Without the intent to commit a crime while unlawfully on the premises of another, this crime would be watered down to trespassing, C.R.S. 18-4-502. The seriousness of the motive for going onto the property of another (i.e. theft, assault, criminal mischief) will impact how this crime is charged (1st Degree, 2nd Degree and 3rd Degree) and whether a formal plea agreement can be achieved.
Carrying a Deadly Weapon Greatly Elevates Burglary Crimes
More specific to First Degree Burglary in Denver, Adams and Arapahoe County, is the added element that the accused must assault or menace a person while entering or fleeing the building / home, or that they have possession of a deadly weapon or explosive. The First Degree version of this crime is a class 3 felony carrying a possible term of imprisonment of 4-12 years in the Department of Corrections. A prison sentence is possible in a crime of this severity, particularly if a weapon was involved or if a home was involved.
Professional Burglars vs. Citizens Trying to Recover Their Property
This First Degree version of Burglary is often charged when a home or business invasion is made by a professional criminal. Professionals derive a portion of their income or are supported by criminal conduct. We also see ex-boyfriend / girlfriend, and ex-spouses charged with this crime when property is sought to be recovered following a breakup. Fortunately, there are many good District Attorneys in Colorado who will distinguish the professional crime from a broken relationship property dispute.
With the complex nature of the Burglary statutes under C.R.S. 18-4-202, 18-4-203, and 18-4-204, you need a Colorado criminal defense attorney to protect you in court. Judges will not see the whole picture of what occurred if you don’t have a lawyer at your side. When you or a loved one has been contacted by police or a sheriff’s deputy, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.