If you have been charged with the serious crime of burglary, you likely have many pressing concerns. You might wonder about which legal option is best for you and how you should proceed with your case. You might want to know how a Loveland burglary lawyer can protect your legal rights and interests.
At The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC, our Loveland criminal defense attorneys understand how terrifying it can be to be involved in the criminal justice system. We work hard to eliminate or mitigate the negative impact criminal charges have on our clients’ rights. Contact us today online or call (970) 791-2006 to talk to an experienced Loveland burglary lawyer lawyer about your case.
What Is Burglary?
Burglary occurs when someone knowingly enters someone else’s property without their permission, intending to commit a crime while there. These are the basic elements of burglary.
Colorado categorizes burglary into three degrees, depending on the type of property and the potential danger to those inside. This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. All of these offenses involve the basic elements of burglary, plus some additional factors.
First Degree Burglary
First-degree burglary is the most serious form of burglary. It occurs when someone commits the basic elements of burglary in a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. Additionally, while committing the offense, the defendant or anyone else involved in the crime does any of the following:
- Assaults or menaces another person
- Arms themselves with explosives
- Uses a deadly weapon
- Possesses or threatens the use of a deadly weapon
First-degree burglary is a class 3 felony in Colorado, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $750,000.
If the property involved in the crime is a controlled substance and the crime occurs at a pharmacy or other place lawfully authorized to possess it, the crime is considered a class 2 felony. This offense is punished by up to 24 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
First-degree burglary (18-4-202) can also be classified as a crime of violence if the defendant used, possessed, or threatened the use of a deadly weapon or caused serious bodily injury or death while committing the crime. In such cases, the defendant can face an enhanced penalty of up to 48 years in prison.
Second Degree Burglary
Second-degree burglary occurs when someone commits the offense in a building or occupied structure. It is usually a class 4 felony, which is punishable by two to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
It is a class 3 felony if the crime occurred at a dwelling, and the underlying crime was to steal a controlled substance that was lawfully kept in the building or occupied structure, or the goal was to steal one or more firearms or ammunition.
The offense is a class 2 misdemeanor if the defendant knowingly violated a written notice from a retailer or court order that prohibited the person from entering a particular retail location during business hours, which carries a sentence of up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $750.
Third Degree Burglary
Third-degree burglary occurs when the defendant enters or breaks any of the following to commit a crime:
- Money depository
- Safety deposit box
- Cash register
- Coin vending machine
- Coin box
- Product dispenser
- Any other apparatus
This crime is typically considered a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $750. However, it is considered a class 1 misdemeanor if the intent was to steal a controlled substance that was lawfully kept in the property burglarized. This crime is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Contact the Loveland Burglary Attorneys at The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC Today
As you can see, the potential consequences of a burglary conviction are dire. A Loveland burglary attorney can lodge a strong defense in your case to protect you from them. Contact The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC today online or call (970) 791-2006 for help.