Charles W. Hamilton Group Photo of Perople at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC
Charles W. Hamilton Group Photo of Perople at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Important Changes to 1st Degree Trespassing in 2022 | Colorado Criminal Defense

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Trespass, Trespassing |

Whether you’re facing an allegation of first-degree criminal trespass in Denver, Aurora, or Colorado Springs, recent changes to Colorado’s criminal laws may impact your case. Entering another’s dwelling without permission or sticking around after you’ve been asked to leave are typical situations we come across regarding trespassing charges. Additionally, entry into another’s vehicle in an attempt to steal or damage something can be charged as 1st degree trespassing as well. In any criminal case, it’s best to politely exercise your right to remain silent and only speak with a skilled defense attorney about the situation. Sawyer Legal Group is here to help the accused.

What Does 1st Degree Trespassing Mean in Denver?

Colorado’s trespass laws prohibit unlawful entry in homes, apartments, buildings, cars, and land. CRS 18-4-502 defines the specific elements of first-degree criminal trespass. Police in Denver, Arapahoe, or El Paso County will pursue this charge if they believe you:

  • both knowingly and unlawfully,
  • entered or remained,
  • in the dwelling of another,
  • or entered another’s motor vehicle intending to commit an offense

So many different situations can lead to a first degree trespassing charge. An ex seeking to retain their belongings from a former partner’s residence, someone being asked to leave a house party and refusing, or wandering around a neighborhood after a few too many drinks can all become legally problematic quickly.

Changes to First Degree Trespass Sentencing

As of March 1st, 2022, 1st degree trespass can be a class 1 misdemeanor in more cases than before. Entering a vehicle to commit a crime or knowingly and unlawfully entering or remaining in an unoccupied dwelling are now punishable by:

  • up to 12 months in county jail,
  • fines of up to $1,000

However, if the trespassing involves an inhabited or occupied dwelling, a class 6 felony applies. Punishment in these cases can include:

  • up to 18 months in prison,
  • fines of $1K – $100K

Felony convictions can significantly impact the job application process, renting a house or apartment, and securing a loan.

Colorado’s Top Trespassing Lawyer

When it comes to trespass charges in Denver, Fort Collins, or Castle Rock, the attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group have the skill set to get your charges reduced, dismissed entirely, or to win at trial. With a staff of former prosecutors, public defenders, and those who’ve solely practiced criminal defense, our team is dedicated to protecting both your rights and your future. Perhaps you had permission to be on the property in question, there wasn’t intent to commit a crime in the vehicle, or the prosecutor can’t possibly prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. Nonetheless, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation. We will carefully look through your unique case, answer your questions, and outline next steps in your defense.

Don’t talk to the police about criminal trespass allegations – talk to us. 303-731-0719

Photo by Sean Foster