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Colorado Criminal Defense Blog

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We all want less crime in Denver. According to a recent report, we might be doing something right. Denver’s Burglary: Forced Entry 2020 Crime Report was published at the end of January.

It includes details about where burglaries (or forced entries) took place, dates, and times. You can also view a full list of burglaries that took place within Denver.

The highlight of this report is that Denver is experiencing fewer burglaries than they did at the same time the previous year. Here are a few other interesting takeaways from that report:

  • Overland and Five Points experienced some of the highest burglary rates this month and year. Four burglaries in 2020 have been in the Five Points area.
  • Surprisingly, more burglary crimes took place during dinnertime (4 pm – 8 pm) than during the nighttime (midnight – 3 am)
  • More burglaries happened on Wednesday than on any other day of the week.

These facts lead us to believe city law enforcement is focused on reducing forced entries and other theft-related crimes. Part of that focus involves increased surveillance efforts.

A String of Burglaries Last Spring Encouraged More Surveillance

After a string of daytime burglaries disturbed the Cherry Hills Village area, you might find relief knowing surveillance has increased. Those crimes occurred while families were at work, as burglars were caught on camera throwing rocks into windows, swiping electronics, and doing all of it very quickly.

Police encouraged residents to report crimes, stay on the lookout, and install more surveillance equipment. Denver law enforcement officers also began to pay more attention to possible forced entries in the area.

Burglary has been a top priority in recent months, and it appears that law enforcement is effectively putting culprits away. Let’s take a closer look at the penalties those burglars are likely facing.

Burglary Penalties in Colorado

What happens when someone is put in jail for burglary? The answer depends on the nature of the crime. There are four different burglary charges in Colorado, including one charge for “possession of burglary tools.” All of these charges are felony crimes.

Possession of Burglary Tools

This charge may be added to other criminal charges. If an offender is caught carrying tools that could aid them in a burglary (lockpicking device, crowbar, etc.) they could see this charge stacked on top of others.

Simply having these items in your car, however, is not enough to convict someone. Prosecutors will have to prove that the offender had the intention of committing burglary.

Third-Degree Burglary

Third-degree burglary, along with possession of burglary tools, is a class 5 felony in Colorado. This isn’t exactly the type of burglary crime you might be picturing.

Breaking into a vending machine, a safety deposit box, or a vault is considered third-degree burglary. A conviction could land an offender three years in prison. Charges are increased to a class 4 felony if controlled substances were stolen (or attempted to be stolen.)

Second-Degree Burglary

Second-degree burglary is the charge that applies to “typical” burglary crimes. If someone unlawfully breaks into a home or residential building, with the intention to commit a crime, they could be charged with second-degree burglary.

Second-degree burglary is a class 4 felony in Colorado. These crimes are traditionally theft scenarios, but may also include stalking, sexual assault, or criminal mischief.

Penalties include up to six years behind bars. If controlled substances are involved, the charges are elevated. Breaking into a residential building with the intention to steal controlled substances is a class 3 felony, for instance.

First-Degree Burglary

The last type of burglary charge in Colorado is the most serious. Some burglary crimes occur without any interaction between the victims and the offender. When things become violent, however, offenders could be looking at a first-degree burglary charge.

This charge occurs when the offender unlawfully breaks into a residential building to commit crimes and:

  • Assaults someone in the process
  • Threatens someone in the process
  • Uses, or threatens to use, deadly weapons

Besides spending years behind bars, felony convictions result in the loss of rights and the ability to hold certain jobs. Best to find the right attorney and work to develop your best defense strategy.

Accused of Burglary Crimes? Build a Strong Defense Strategy

Increased surveillance and attention to burglary often lead to a greater number of accusations. Regardless of whether these accusations are an attempt to put away legitimate offenders or wind up inadvertently pointing fingers at the wrong people, every defendant has the right to present their case.

If you have been accused of burglary, start to build a strong defense strategy. There are always ways to defend your innocence. Reach out to a Denver criminal defense attorney for more information on how to build the right case.


About the Author:

Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state.  She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.

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