Denver Burglary Lawyer
Charged with Residential Burglary in Denver, Colorado?
When you enter a home or building without permission, you are breaking Colorado law. Even if your intentions were harmless, you can be charged with trespassing and slammed with heavy penalties.
But if the courts have reason to believe you had intent to commit a crime after unlawfully entering another’s property, that trespassing charge is elevated to a much more serious charge—burglary.
Any type of burglary charge brings with it harsh penalties, regardless of degree. All burglaries are considered felonies, and punishable by lengthy state prison sentences and enormous fines. As with all felonies, burglary convictions will leave a stain on your permanent record, preventing you from getting jobs, securing housing, and applying for loans in the future.
If you are facing a burglary charge it’s critical to enlist the aid of an experienced Denver burglary defense attorney. A skilled legal team, like the Law Office of Kevin Cahill, is often able to have a burglary charge reduced or dropped by demonstrating that their client didn’t intend to commit a crime when they entered the area or building in question.
The Different Degrees of Burglary in Colorado
Burglary occurs when someone illegally enters a home, building, or other structure with the specific goal of committing a crime such as theft, assault, or criminal mischief. In Colorado, there are three different levels of burglary crimes—first, second, and third-degree burglary. First and second degree cover burglary of buildings, while third-degree is specifically for burglary of certain containers. The level of charge may increase depending on factors such as whether a weapon was used, what type of weapon was used, and whether the assault occurred.
- Third Degree Burglary: In this type of burglary, the intended crime is usually theft, so the burglary charge is frequently accompanied by theft charges. Third-degree burglary is a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If your purpose in committing the burglary was to steal illicit drugs or another controlled substance, third-degree burglary may be considered a Class 4 felony and carry even harsher penalties.
- Second Degree Burglary: This degree of burglary occurs when you illegally and knowingly enter a structure with the intention of committing a crime against a person or property. You may also be charged if you legally enter a building and remain when it is illegal to do so to do so with the goal of committing a crime. This is considered a Class 4 felony in Colorado if the structure is a commercial property or business and punishable by up to 6 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. Second-degree burglary may be considered a Class 3 felony of a home, or it is a burglary with the intent to steal illicit drugs or another controlled substance that is being lawfully contained within the structure. With a Class 3 felony conviction, you face an even harsher sentence, including a nearly doubled prison sentence.
- First Degree Burglary: This is the most serious level under Colorado law. It occurs when you enter illegally or remain illegally in a structure and assault or threaten a person while entering or exiting, or while in the structure. This type of burglary is considered a Class 3 felony, and is punishable with up to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. As with second and third-degree burglaries, first-degree burglary becomes more serious with the intent to steal drugs or illegal substances and is elevated to the status of a Class 2 felony.
Additionally, if you have a restraining order that prohibits you from coming near a person inside the structure or being on the property at all, you can be charged with burglary even if you did not intend to commit a crime.
Why You Need Kevin Cahill On Your Side
The penalties for a burglary conviction listed here are just basic punishments and do not include special classes, rehabilitation, and parole periods that may accompany a burglary sentence. Each case is unique, and penalties vary vastly depending on circumstances, weapon use, and intent. That’s why it’s so important to enlist the aid of a seasoned burglary defense lawyer, who can examine your case closely and devise the best possible defense based on your unique situation.
Our Denver criminal defense lawyer's guidance and aggressive representation can dramatically increase your chances of winning in court. Whatever your situation, Kevin Cahill will work alongside you throughout the entire legal process, providing guidance and doing everything in his power to have your charges reduced or dropped.
If you’re ready for us to start building your defense strategy and want to take the first step towards protecting your freedom and future, contact Kevin Cahill. Call now at (720) 548-2990, your initial consultation is absolutely free.