You Need to Understand Colorado Burglary Charges to Fight Them
A man in a mask sneaks into a building and steals something – that is what most people imagine when they hear the word “burglary.” However, while that is one example of burglary, it is a far too limited interpretation of the law. If you find yourself charged, it is vital that you learn what burglary actually means under the laws of Colorado so you can effectively fight back.
Jacob Martinez has been helping people in and around Denver to successfully fight burglary charges for years. He not only knows exactly how the law works and what it takes to get you the best possible outcome, but also why anyone charged should seek out a skilled attorney immediately.
Quite simply, because a conviction on burglary charges is likely to derail your life. There are four different types of burglary offenses covered by statute in Colorado. All are felonies that come with the possibility of jail time, high fines, and other serious consequences.
A Denver Criminal Lawyer Who Understands the Four Types of Burglary Charges in Our State
Before diving into the four different charges in Colorado, it is important to understand the general definition of burglary.
The most important thing to know is that theft is not necessary under the traditional definition. Rather, burglary can probably best be described as trespassing with the intent to commit a crime on another’s property. Interestingly, depending on the circumstances, this can also be charged as first degree criminal trespass.
Here is how our burglary laws break down:
18-4-204 – Third Degree Burglary
Occurs when someone enters into specific types of equipment without authorization and with the intent to commit a crime. Types of equipment include:
- Cash registers
- Coin boxes
- Coin telephones
- Money depositories
- Product dispensers
- Safety deposit boxes
- Vending machines
Third degree burglary is charged as a class 5 felony with the possibility of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. If you are charged with stealing or attempting to steal controlled substances, your charges will be increased to a class 4 felony.
18-4-203 – Second Degree Burglary
Occurs when someone enters property unlawfully with the intent of committing a crime against something inside that property – either an individual or another piece of property.
Second degree burglary is charged as a class 4 felony with the possibility of up to six years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. If the property you broke into was a dwelling, or if your intent was to steal controlled substance from inside a building, your charges will be increased to a class 3 felony.
18-4-202 – First Degree Burglary
Occurs when someone enters property unlawfully with the intent of committing a crime against something inside that property – either an individual or another piece of property and assaults or menaces someone in the course of the burglary or threatens to use deadly weapons or explosives.
First degree burglary is charged as a class 3 felony with the possibility of up to 12 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.
18-4-205 – Possession of Burglary Tools
Occurs when someone possesses any article adapted, commonly used, or designed to facilitate physical theft or unlawful forced entry, including explosives, instruments, and tools, and either intends to use the article or knows that another intends to use the article to commit a burglary.
Possession of burglary tools is charged as a class 5 felony with the possibility of one to three years in prison and fines of $1,000 to $100,000.
Defense Strategies Colorado Criminal Lawyer Jacob Martinez Can Use to Beat Burglary Charges
Every single case is unique. The best strategy for your situation will depend upon the specific facts present. That being said, there are a number of general defense strategies that Mr. Martinez commonly uses to fight burglary charges, including:
- Execution of Public Duty
- Impaired Mental Condition
- Mistaken Identity
Some of these are what is known as affirmative defenses, where you admit to the actions that you are accused of but argue that there are good reasons why you engaged in them. Those types of defenses are typically (but not always) used to reduce charges. Other, lesser used affirmative defenses include insanity and involuntary intoxication, but those should only be used in very specific situations.
The other strategies listed flat out deny that you engaged in the actions of which you are accused. Essentially, they are saying that you did not do it. Those types of strategies tend to be used to get charges dropped or dismissed, or to prevent you from receiving a guilty verdict if you go to trial.
Do Not Delay – Start Battling Your Burglary Charges Today by Reaching Out to Jacob Martinez Today
As we detailed above, the penalties for Colorado burglary charges are incredibly severe. If you are convicted, you will likely end up spending time in prison, incurring a high fine, and probably have your rights curtailed as well.
Because of this, it is vital that you get in touch with a knowledgeable Denver criminal lawyer who can help you put together an aggressive defense designed to raise doubts and poke holes in the arguments of the prosecutor.
Doing this, however, is something that takes time, so it is also incredibly important that you act quickly. Ideally, you should reach out to Mr. Martinez as soon as you are arrested or charged, because having a lawyer with you during the initial stages can make a huge difference.
With Jacob Martinez by your side from the beginning:
You can be assured that law enforcement will respect your rights.
You will know if police or others ever violate proper procedure.
You will have a guide preventing you from saying or doing anything that could hurt your case.
You will be able to use helpful evidence that must be collected in a timely manner.
So, what are you waiting for? Start putting together your defense today by reaching out to our office right now: