What to Do If You are Arrested for Burglary in Colorado
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
Getting arrested for burglary – or any alleged crime – can be a stressful, confusing, and frightening experience. Regardless of the reason why, though, if you find yourself under arrest, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind.
Actions to Avoid When You Are Put Under Arrest
Resisting. First, even if you believe you haven’t done anything wrong or unlawful, don’t try to fight back or argue. Not only does this not help your situation, it can aggravate it. In addition to the original charge, you could also end up with a resisting arrest charge.
Here in Colorado, resisting arrest is a class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable by 3 months to up to one year in jail. Additionally, if the police officer is injured while you’re resisting arrest, you could be charged with assault in the second degree – a felony offense that could carry a mandatory prison term.
Rambling. You should also exercise your right to remain silent. As the Miranda rights explicitly state, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Giving the police officers any information – even if you’re simply trying to clear up a misunderstanding – could potentially be misconstrued and used to implicate you in the alleged crime.
Going it alone. Along with not saying anything, you should also contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney who specializes in that charge as soon as possible. A knowledgeable lawyer will make sure that you do and say the proper things to hopefully get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Although getting arrested can be nerve-racking, it shouldn’t prevent you from learning about your charge and fighting back. So let’s look at what a burglary charge in Colorado means and how a skilled attorney can help.
What are the Burglary Laws in Colorado?
Burglary is considered a property crime in our state, and there are three different degrees of burglary you can be charged for:
Burglary in the first degree
This is the most serious burglary crime. A person commits first degree burglary if the person knowingly enters or remains in a building unlawfully with intent to commit a crime, and in the process, the person assaults or menaces someone or the person has explosives or a deadly weapon. Burglary in the first degree is a class 3 felony punishable by 4 to 12 years in prison.
If you intend to steal a controlled substance lawfully kept, you commit first degree burglary of controlled substances – a class 2 felony punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison.
Burglary in the second degree
A person commits second degree burglary if they knowingly enter or remain in a building unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime against another person or property. Second degree burglary is similar to first degree burglary, but without assault, menacing, explosives, or a deadly weapon. This crime is a class 4 felony punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison.
If you intend to steal a controlled substance lawfully kept or you burglarize a dwelling, it’s a class 3 felony.
Burglary in the third degree
A person commits third degree burglary if, with intent to commit a crime, he enters or breaks into any vault, safe, cash register, coin vending machine, product dispenser, money depository, safety deposit box, coin telephone, coin box, or other apparatus or equipment whether or not coin operated. Third degree burglary is a class 5 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison.
If you intend to steal a controlled substance lawfully kept, the crime is a class 4 felony.
Possession of burglary tools
A person commits possession of burglary tools if he possesses any explosive, tool, instrument, or other article adapted, designed, or commonly used for committing or facilitating a burglary and intends to use the item to commit a burglary. Possession of burglary tools is a class 5 felony.
In addition to burglary charges, you could also face related charges such as trespassing, theft, assault, or robbery depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime.
How to Beat Colorado Burglary Charges
If you want to beat your Colorado burglary charge, you should reach out to a qualified Colorado burglary lawyer who understands the ins and outs of the burglary laws in our state. Your lawyer will listen to the facts of your case and then be able to craft the best defense strategy to give you the best possible outcome.
Don’t let a burglary charge ruin your life. Contact a skilled attorney today to get started on fighting your charge.
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.