Burglary Defense Attorney in Denver, CO

Denver Burglary Lawyer

Burglary. It’s more than just the Hollywood image of a bad guy in a mask sneaking into a home or business to fill a sack with stolen goods. Burglary in the real world is nothing like what’s portrayed in the movies. And it definitely isn’t glamorous if you are caught. In Colorado, burglary charges are among the most serious crimes and you face life-altering penalties if you are arrested and charged with this crime. 

In addition, the far reaching effects of a burglary conviction due to a criminal record include difficulty getting hired for a job, qualifying to live in an apartment, or even financial repercussions such as being denied a loan. A burglary conviction and criminal record can stunt your personal life as well if a prospective mate learns about your past.

Voting restrictions until you finish serving your sentence if you are incarcerated are another repercussion. Future gun ownership is also off the table for the rest of your life. 

Jeff Weeden is aware of the challenges you face. A Denver criminal defense attorney since 2005, Mr. Weeden understands the rules of our state and how to use them to protect your rights.

What is Burglary?

A felony property crime, burglary is the offense of entering or remaining unlawfully on another person’s property to commit a crime (other than trespass). There are three levels of burglary in Colorado. These are first, second, and third-degree burglary. 

The severity of the burglary charge is determined by the type of property and the amount of risk to anyone within. Burglary is more than just breaking into a home or company. It also refers to breaking into things like a locker, safe, or other locked goods. Examples of burglary include stealing money by prying open a closed cash register, breaking into someone’s home to kidnap them, and hiding in a business so you can vandalize it after it closes.

Intent. This aspect isn’t required on many other criminal charges, but it is a critical aspect of obtaining a conviction on a burglary charge. Burglary is not committed by someone who enters a building illegally and doesn’t intend to commit another crime. Additionally, if you commit a crime while lawfully on a property, or if you form the intent to commit the crime after you are already on the property, it is not burglary.

You’ll need to move quickly to defend your rights if you are charged with burglary. To discuss your options, contact a burglary defense lawyer at WeedenLaw.

Is Burglary Considered a Violent Crime?

Burglary is one of many violent crimes in Colorado when it is charged as first-degree burglary. According to CRS § 18-4-202, the crime becomes a first-degree offense when a person commits a burglary and also assaults or threatens another person and has a weapon or an explosive. In the first degree,  burglary is a class 3 felony with a conviction that can lead to anywhere from 4 to up to 12 years in prison. 

The weapon, explosives, or assault is a critical component of making the offense violent and in the first degree. As such, an unarmed perpetrator who commits the burglary without making contact with any potential victims would not be charged with first-degree burglary.

Penalties for Burglary in CO

The type of property (residential or commercial property, type of vehicle or vessel, cargo container, etc.) where the burglary occurs influences the harshness of the punishment. If people are on the premises when the crime occurrs, the charges and possible penalties can increase significantly.

In Colorado, burglary is always a felony. Penalties for the crime vary greatly and may result in anywhere from 1 to 48 years in prison with a fine between $1,000 to $1,000,000. It depends on the severity of the burglary, the crime committed or planned to be committed, and whether a person was intimidated, threatened, or if a lethal weapon was used or threatened to be used.

Entering a closed vault or box is less serious than breaking into a building or a home with persons inside. And, regardless of the degree of the burglary, the sentence increases if the goal is to take controlled substances. As a result, the place or thing the defendant allegedly enters or breaks into is the main determining factor between third degree burglary and the other two degrees. Third-degree burglary ranges from safe cracking to putting your hand in a cash register to walking into a bank vault. Meanwhile, unlawfully entering or remaining in a building or occupied structure is a component of first and second degree burglary.  

Intent to conduct a crime is the final factor, and it is a necessary consideration for all three charges. It’s frequently the key to being convicted or defeating your charge. Remember, third degree burglary is different from the other two because you do not have to be aware that you are doing something wrong simply by being present.

How To Get Out of a Burglary Charge

An experienced Denver burglary defense attorney may initiate an effective defense against burglary charges by looking at all aspects of the case, including the possibility of having your charges dropped. For example, if the police violated your constitutional rights during the burglary investigation or during a search, an interrogation, or your arrest, the your burglary charges may potentially be dropped or dismissed. If the state has convincing evidence against you and it looks like you’ll be convicted, negotiating and accepting a plea deal may be suggested by your burglary defense lawyer.

Colorado Burglary Defenses

Arguments that someone was not attempting burglary, but was instead trespassing are some of the most common approaches your burglary defense lawyer can take to get charges reduced. It’s still a crime, but not nearly as serious.

Denver criminal defense attorney Jeff Weeden has successfully fought burglary charges for previous clients using a variety of defense methods. The circumstances of your case determine the optimal strategy for you, which you explore at your free initial consultation with Mr. Weeden.

Some examples of potential defenses to a charge of burglary include:

  • You didn’t go into the building with the intent of committing a crime.
  • You weren’t there to steal narcotics, which would have resulted in harsher punishment.
  • The property was not worth as much as the prosecution claims.
  • You didn’t have any weapons on you. 
  • There were no threats made against anyone while committing the offense.
  • You were on the property legally.
  • The property was yours; the other person had given it to you; you were simply borrowing the item in question.

A Denver burglary charge is a very serious offense with a lot of components. That is why it is critical you speak to and retain an aggressive burglary defense lawyer who will fight for your rights.

Contact WeedenLaw Today to Discuss Your Case

Because burglary is a felony charge, a conviction can result in prison time, fines, and a criminal record that may haunt you for the rest of your life. An arrest, on the other hand, is not the same as being convicted. With the help of a skilled burglary defense lawyer, you can avoid serious punishments.

Burglary convictions are not eligible for record sealing in Colorado. This means that law enforcement, the military, government entities, and the general public are allowed to access these charges. Landlords and employers in Denver will not put their property, as well as the property of their tenants and workers, at risk by renting to or hiring someone they perceive as a threat as a result of a charge or conviction. This, along with the several other consequences that come with a burglary charge, makes it all the more important that you hire an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney on your side to help you protect your future. Simply send us an email at jlweeden@weedenlaw.com, call us at (720) 893-3831, or fill out our online case review form.