In the past, burglary laws only applied when an individual broke into the home of another individual. Nowadays, however, an individual is said to commit burglary when he or she illegally enters a building with the intent to commit a crime within the structure. There must be an intent to commit an underlying crime—whether it be a crime against a person such as assault, or a crime against property such as theft.
Like many other criminal charges in Colorado, burglary may be classified as first degree, second degree, or third degree. Any charge of burglary, however, is a serious one, and may result in imprisonment. The severity of the charge is considerably elevated if the charge involves allegations of the use of a knife, firearm, or any other weapon.
Degrees of Burglary
Third degree burglary, a class 5 felony, occurs when a person breaks into a locked container such as a vault or safe with the intent to commit a crime. Possible penalties include one to three years’ imprisonment in the Department of Corrections. If the intent while committing burglary is to steal drugs or other controlled substances, the crime is classified as a class 4 felony and carries more serious penalties.
Second degree burglary occurs when a person illegally enters a building with the intent to commit a crime within. A person may also be charged with this type of burglary if he or she enters a building lawfully, but remains there when he or she is not legally allowed to, with an intent to commit a crime. The crime intended upon entry may be a crime against either a person or property. This form of burglary is considered a class 4 felony if the building is a business, or a commercial or industrial property. Burglary of a dwelling is a class 3 felony, and is subject to more serious penalties. If there is intent to steal drugs or other controlled substances, the crime is also classified as a class 3 felony.
First degree burglary, a class 3 felony, is essentially similar to second degree burglary. It has, however, an additional element of assault or menace to a person either upon entering the building, while in the building, or upon fleeing the building—or if the person or another participant is armed with a deadly weapon or explosives. It carries a possible prison sentence of four to 12 years. If there is intent to steal drugs or other controlled substances, this becomes a class 2 felony.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of burglary, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Law, LLC are here to help you. We will help protect your freedom and safeguard your future.
At Goldman Law, LLC, we will advocate aggressively for your rights, minimize damage as best as we can, and immediately begin crafting a plan to position your case for the best resolution possible. We will do whatever we legally can to get your case dismissed and the charges against your dropped. If dismissal is not feasible, our legal team will strive to have your charges and sentences reduced.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make for your criminal case. To learn more about your rights and receive a professional case evaluation, contact Goldman Law, LLC at (720) 504-7437.