Grand Junction Burglary Defense Lawyers
Were You Accused of a Break-In in Mesa County?
Burglary is a serious type of theft crime, and in Colorado, a conviction for burglary has severe consequences. If you or a loved one is facing burglary charges, your best course of action is to hire a Grand Junction attorney with a proven track record of success.
At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our trial lawyers have dedicated their careers to protecting Coloradans from overzealous prosecution. Contact us today at (970) 243-4357 so we can get started building the best possible defense on your behalf.
What Is the Legal Definition of Burglary?
Anytime someone takes another person’s property without permission, it’s considered stealing or theft. The exact circumstances surrounding the theft determine what type of crime it is. Under Colorado law, burglary is when a person knowingly enters a building, occupied structure, or locked container with the intent to commit a crime inside against another person or property. In fact, burglary doesn’t have to involve actual theft (the intended crime might be something else, like vandalism), although it is most often associated with stealing.
In most cases in Mesa County, burglary isn’t charged as a single offense, but in conjunction with other crimes. These crimes might range from misdemeanors, like trespassing, to violent crimes. Burglary by itself is a felony charge.
What Are the Penalties for Burglary?
In Colorado, burglary is divided into three classes. You can be charged as follows:
- Third-degree burglary is the least serious form of burglary, and occurs when a person breaks into a locked container or box of some sort with the intent to commit a crime. Examples include vaults, safes, vending machines, cash registers, coin depositories, parking meters, and the like. The penalties for third-degree burglary range from one to three years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
- Second-degree burglary is when a person knowingly and unlawfully breaks into a building or location with the intent to commit a crime. Examples include a house, a place of business, a cabin, a tool shed, a trailer home, a hotel room, an apartment, or a detached garage. The penalties range from two to 12 years in prison, with a maximum fine of $750,000.
- First-degree burglary is the same as second-degree burglary, except the defendant is accused of using or threatening violence during the commission of the crime. For example, threatening someone with a weapon, even if you didn’t use the weapon while the burglary took place, would be charged as first-degree burglary. The penalties range from four to 48 years in prison, depending on the level of violence involved.
In addition, burglary of a controlled substance carries stiffer penalties. It is likely you will be facing other charges as well, such as theft, property damage, trespassing, assault, and more.
What Can I Do to Defend Myself Against Burglary Charges?
There are a number of defenses possible. One of the key elements of a burglary charge is your intent. If the prosecution cannot prove that you intended to commit a crime when you entered someone else’s premises, you have a good chance of having the case dismissed or winning in court.
This is just one example; but no matter the circumstances, your best option when facing burglary charges is to talk to an experienced Grand Junction criminal defense lawyer. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our clients’ welfare is our top priority. We believe everyone who has been charged with a crime is entitled to vigorous and effective representation. Call us today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free and confidential evaluation.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.