September 28, 2023
The term “property crimes” may refer to a broad range of offenses relating to theft or destruction of property, from low-level misdemeanors to more serious felonies.
Under Colorado law, property crimes are penalized harshly, and consequences may become more serious when they involve harm or threat to other people. We’ve included a guide to seven of the most common types of property crimes below.
Arson. You can be charged with arson for intentionally starting a fire or using explosives to destroy property, whether for insurance reasons or out of maliciousness. Typically, Colorado arson crimes involve residential property, but you can also commit larceny by setting fire to a boat or forest. Arson is often a felony in Colorado, though sentencing may be influenced by factors such as whether or not the building was occupied and whether insurance fraud was intended.
Burglary. In Colorado, burglary is the unlawful entry into a residence or closed structure with an intention of committing a crime therein. You can be charged with burglary for illegally entering a structure with the intention of committing virtually any type of offense, including theft, robbery, assault, or vandalism. The penalties for burglary may depend on factors such as whether a weapon was used, and whether you assault or menace another individual during the process of committing burglary.
Robbery. You can commit robbery if you use force or the threat of force in order to take money or property form another person. Your robbery charges may be elevated to aggravated robbery if you commit robbery if you are armed or claim to be armed with a deadly weapon.
Criminal mischief. You can be charged with criminal mischief if you damage property that is owned by another person or that you own jointly with another person. Vandalism is a common example of criminal mischief; but criminal mischief is often committed in conjecture with domestic violence crimes. Criminal mischief may be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of damage.
Trespassing. Under Colorado law, you may be charged with criminal trespass if you illegally enter or remain on another’s property or vehicle. Unlike burglary, you do not necessarily need to intend to commit a crime within the structure to be charged with burglary. The severity of the penalties may depend on factors such as whether the premises is classified as agricultural land or is enclosed in a manner which is meant to exclude intruders.
Defacing property. In Colorado, the crime of defacing property involves the destruction, removal, damaging, or defacing of a historical monument. You could also be charged with defacing property if you damage or deface another’s property without their permission by painting, drawing, writing, or other means.
Tampering. You may commit tampering if you interfere with property of a utility or an institution with the intention of impairing, stopping, or interrupting the service. You could also be charged with criminal tampering if you tamper with the property of a utility to make unauthorized use of a cable or Wi-Fi signal.
These are only a glimpse at the many different types of property crimes in Colorado. If you have been charged with any kind of property offense, you are facing serious consequences—including jail or prison time, heavy fines, and a lifelong criminal record. Consult with an experienced Denver property crimes defense attorney, who can help you understand your rights and help you build the most powerful defense possible.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.