Having an attorney who understands burglaries when you are facing a serious felony is important. There are different levels of burglary, as well as some serious consequences for someone who has been convicted of a previous burglary within the last ten years. This article will outline the differences between the different levels and discuss the possible penalties.
First Degree Burglary is when a person either enters or remains unlawfully in a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime therein against another person or property while the person, or a codefendant, assaults or menaces someone, is armed with explosives or uses a deadly weapon, possesses a deadly weapon while threatening to use it. If the charge does not include a deadly weapon, then it falls within the standard Class 3 felony range which is between 4 years and 12 years of Department of Corrections and/or a fine of between $3,000 and $750,000. Additionally, a DOC sentence would carry a mandatory period of parole following incarceration. So long as the charge does not carry a crime of violence enhancer, then the person would be eligible for probation. However, if the allegations include the use of a deadly weapon and it is charged as a crime of violence, sentencing would require a sentence to the Department of Corrections for between 10-32 years. An additional sentencing enhancer on first-degree burglary is that the property taken involves a controlled substance that elevates the crime to a Class 2 felony which carries a potential sentence between 8 and 24 years in DOC with a period of parole.
Second Degree Burglary is when a person knowingly breaks an entrance into, enters unlawfully in, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry in a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime therein against a person or property. Second-degree burglary is a class 4 felony which could require someone that pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, to be sentenced to between 2 and 6 years of DOC with a mandatory period of parole and/or a fine between $2,000 and $500,000. This particular crime is probation eligible which means that someone could be placed on probation in lieu of sentencing the person to prison. Under second degree burglary, it could be charged as a Class 3 felony if it is a burglary of a dwelling, the objective of theft is a controlled substance, or if the objective is the theft of one or more firearms or ammunition. If convicted of a Class 3 felony, then the sentencing range could be between 4 years and 12 years of Department of Corrections and/or a fine of between $3,000 and $750,000. Additionally, a DOC sentence would carry a mandatory period of parole following incarceration.
Third Degree Burglary is when a person with the intent to commit a crime enters or breaks into any vault, safe, cash register, coin vending machine, product dispenser money depository, safety deposit box, coin telephone, coin box, or other apparatus or equipment whether or not coin operated. This is a Class 5 felony unless it involves the theft of a controlled substance, which could subject someone convicted of this offense to between 1 and 3 years of DOC or a fine of between $1,000 and $100,000. If the charge is based upon the theft of a controlled substance it would be a Class 4 felony which may subject a person to between 2 and 6 years of DOC with a mandatory period of parole and/or a fine between $2,000 and $500,000. It is probation eligible as well.
In Colorado, there is also a habitual burglary offender enhancer that essentially increases the possible periods of incarceration. If the person has been convicted of a First Degree burglary or a Second Degree Burglary of a dwelling within 10 years of the new allegation of First Degree burglary or a Second Degree Burglary then the person would be sentenced to a mandatory DOC sentence between the maximum possible penalty and twice the maximum.
With such serious possible penalties associated with Burglary charges, it is really important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney work with you on your case. At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, our Attorneys are experienced criminal defense lawyers who work together to come up with the best defenses for their clients. Contact us today to set up a free half-hour consultation to talk about your criminal charges today.