Burglary occurs when someone unlawfully enters or remains on another person’s property with the intent to commit some type of crime. Burglary is often associated with stealing, but there doesn’t have to be theft involved in order for burglary to occur. Examples of burglary may include breaking into a retail store to steal merchandise, illegally entering a school to vandalize it, or breaking into a home to kidnap someone who is inside.
It’s important to note that you can be charged with burglary even if a crime was not actually committed while you were on the property. As long as the prosecutor can prove that you had the intent to commit a crime, it doesn’t matter whether you followed through with committing it.
Degrees of Burglary Crimes in Colorado
Burglary can be charged in the first, second, or third degree depending on the details of the crime. Third degree charges are the least serious of burglary charges, but they should not be taken lightly. You may be charged with third degree burglary if you are accused of breaking into a vault, safe, cash register, safety deposit box, product dispenser, or any other locked boxes or containers with the intent to commit a crime.
Second degree burglary is the act of unlawfully entering a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. This crime turns into a first degree burglary charge if while on the property, you:
- Possess, use, or threaten to use a deadly weapon,
- Arm yourself with explosive devices, or
- Assault a person
Penalties for Committing Burglary
The penalties for a burglary conviction will vary depending on the exact charge and the defendant’s prior criminal record. But, burglary is always charged as a felony in the state of Colorado, so it is very likely that you will face serious penalties regardless of the degree of your crime. Even a third degree burglary conviction can lead to up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The most serious burglary charge, first degree burglary, carries a possible sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. If you committed burglary in order to steal controlled substances, the penalties that you face may increase regardless of whether you are facing first, second, or third degree charges.
It’s very important that you seek legal representation from an experienced burglary attorney if you are facing these charges. Our attorneys will fight tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Our Burglary Attorneys Can Defend Your Rights
A conviction for burglary can affect both your personal and professional life for years. You may find it difficult to find employment or housing with a criminal conviction on your record, and your relationships with your loved ones may suffer as a result of your conviction. Don’t let this happen to you—contact Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your legal options. Schedule a free consultation with our team by calling 303-291-0555.