Grand Junction Criminal Trespass Lawyers
Were You Arrested on Private Property?
Trespassing may seem like a minor crime. But in the State of Colorado, law enforcement takes trespassing seriously, and it can be charged as a felony. Making matters worse, trespassing can be stacked with other charges, meaning a defendant may face steep penalties for trivial offenses.
At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we know every criminal charge should be treated seriously on the Western Slope. We could mention examples of individuals who took plea deals because they believed it was the easiest way to resolve a difficult situation, only to have their conviction held against them in the future. Our Grand Junction legal team believes that everyone deserves a vigorous defense, and we’ve dedicated our careers to protecting Colorado residents from aggressive prosecution.
Call one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free evaluation.
Is Trespassing a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Colorado defines trespassing as when an individual unlawfully enters and/or remains on another individual’s property. In general, there are three levels of trespassing, the most serious of which is a felony. The circumstances of the crime - such as the type of property, whether it is a dwelling or not, and the reason the accused entered the property - are all factors that help the prosecutor decide how to charge you.
- Third-degree trespassing. The least serious of the offenses, this type of trespass involves a person entering another’s property, as long as that property is not a dwelling and there was no fence or other enclosure intended to keep intruders out. In general, the prosecutors would need to show that the person was aware of the fact that he was entering private property (for instance, a sign was posted). This can be difficult to do with private property that is adjacent to public lands, such as a park. Third-degree trespassing is a Class 1 Petty Offense. This may seem relatively harmless, but the penalties include up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500. If the property in question is classified as agricultural land, then it can be charged as a Class 3 Misdemeanor, with stiffer penalties. Finally, if you are found to commit third-degree trespassing on agricultural land with the intention of committing a felony, the charge becomes a Class 5 Felony, and the penalties include up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Second-degree trespassing. A Class 3 Misdemeanor; involves property that is enclosed with a fence or wall intended to keep out intruders. It also encompasses when a person knowingly and unlawfully enters a hotel, apartment building, or motor vehicle that belongs to someone else. In such cases, it doesn’t matter if the vehicle is locked or not. The penalties for second-degree trespassing range from three to 12 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. As with third-degree trespassing, the penalties become more severe if the property is agricultural land.
- First-degree trespassing. When a person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in someone else’s dwelling. It also includes unlawfully entering another person’s motor vehicle with the intent to commit a crime. For instance, if you are caught inside a vehicle trying to steal it, you could be charged with first-degree trespassing. As a Class 5 Felony, the penalties are quite severe. The maximum jail sentence is three years, along with a fine of $100,000.
Get Started on Your Defense Right Away
If you are charged with criminal trespassing on the Western Slope, don’t wait to seek help. With cases like this, the sooner you can mount a defense, the better your chance of getting the charges reduced or dismissed. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we have the resources to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest – and we have a proven track record of success representing clients just like you.
Contact us today at (970) 243-4357 to learn more.
- Charges: Felony theft and trespass of an auto
∗ Result: Not guilty at trial
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∗ Not all criminal cases are the same. These results are from actual cases handled by the attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC. This is not a representation, guarantee or promise as to the results or outcome of your particular matter.
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.