As a Denver criminal defense attorney, I run into a lot of people who are surprised at the seriousness of a criminal trespassing charge. In many cases, defendants don’t expect the charges to result in prison time or fines, but the state takes this crime very seriously.
Thanks to the separation between Church and State, it won’t go over too well if you walk into a Colorado courtroom citing the Lord’s Prayer, and expecting that the plaintiffs will “forgive those who trespass against us." In fact, being charged with criminal trespassing in Colorado can be very difficult to defend unless you work with an experienced attorney. If you have been charged with trespassing, you should hire a Denver criminal defense lawyer immediately.
The trespassing law in Colorado can be quite complex, and there are several distinctions that determine whether trespassing was done with or without the intention of committing a crime. For example, if you unlawfully enter a private residence, you can be charged with first-degree trespassing in Colorado. If you enter a motor vehicle, it is assumed that you have the intention of committing a crime.
According to Colorado law, second-degree trespassing is when a defendant enters a non-dwelling residence that has been fenced off or sealed to prevent intrusion. Third-degree trespassing, considered a class 3 misdemeanor, is when someone enters the premises of dwelling or building that is not fenced off.
If you’ve been accused of trespassing, be sure you take these charges very seriously. A first-degree trespassing conviction is treated as a Class 5 felony, which can mean up to three years of prison or a fine of up to $100,000, plus a criminal record for a lifetime.
Illegal trespassing is a crime that varies greatly from one case to another, so if it can be proven that your intentions were honest, and not criminal, the courts may be lenient in their sentencing. An experienced Denver criminal defense attorney can carefully examine the evidence in your case, and look for ways to fight the prosecution by showing mitigating circumstances that will result in either a lighter sentence or the case being thrown out entirely.