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First Degree Criminal Trespass or Second Degree Burglary? A Lawyer Explains the Difference

| Jun 4, 2016 | Trespass |

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Burglary in Douglas County is Worse that Trespassing – A Defense Lawyer Explains Why

Being caught inside another person’s house without permission is a very bad thing. How bad is determined by whether you are charged with committing First Degree Criminal Trespass or Second Degree Burglary in Douglas County. The first is a class five felony, but the second is a class three felony. The prison sentence between the two is a maximum of three years for the 1st DegreeTrespassing charge and twelve years for the Burglary charge. And, based on my experience, it is much more likely you will get a prison sentence for a 2nd Degree Burglary conviction vs. a Trespassing conviction.

What is the Definition of Second Degree Burglary in Colorado?

Colorado’s definition of Second Degree Burglary in Jefferson County, C.R.S. 18-4-203, is:

A person commits 2nd degree burglary in Jefferson County, if the person knowingly breaks an entrance into, enters unlawfully in, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime against another person or property. This can include a business or a person’s apartment in Golden or Morrison.

What is the Potential Sentence for Second Degree Burglary in Adams County?

Because a person’s home is considered so special, lawmakers in Colorado have made the crime of Second Degree Burglary in Thornton, a class three felony, with a maximum punishment of 12 years. Yes, a judge can still give probation, but that is rare when someone plans and enters another person’s home to burglarize it for profit. If a drunk person went into another’s house to sleep, but did some damage while there, it would technically be Second Degree Burglary in Adams County. But, a judge is much more likely in this case to grant probation.  The second example assumes a person came into the house by accident rather than on purpose to steal.

What is the Definition of First Degree Criminal Trespass in Denver, C.R.S. 18-4-502?

A person commits 1st Degree Criminal Trespass in Denver if they deliberately and unlawfully enter or unlawfully remain in another person’s house, apartment or condominium. With cars and trucks, if a person gets in a vehicle for the purpose of committing a crime (like theft), this unlawful entry is also considered First Degree Trespassing.

Arapahoe County Sentence for First Degree Criminal Trespass

Any Colorado felony, First Degree Criminal Trespass, C.R.S. 18-4-502, carries a potential punishment of prison time. The District Attorney can ask for up to three years in prison, plus parole. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is necessary to fight against accusations of First Degree Criminal Trespassing. For example, if you are charged because someone says you were told to leave their house after a legal entry with permission, there will be a he said – she said defense available. It is hard for the District Attorney in Arapahoe County to achieve this level of proof when two people are disputing what was said.

If you want an A+ defense lawyer at an affordable price, call our lawyers at 303-731-0719. Of course, never speak with the police, since they only want to gather evidence against you. Together, we can protect your future.

Image Credit: Pixabay – kira_fotografie