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Colorado Springs Trespassing Attorney

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Colorado Trespassing Laws

There are many reasons a person might enter someone else’s property. Not all those who trespass have unlawful or malicious intentions, but that doesn’t change the fact that the act of trespassing alone is a crime. If you’re facing criminal trespassing charges, you need a Colorado Springs trespassing attorney who can guide you through the legal process and ensure you’re treated fairly.

What is Trespassing?

The act of trespassing in Colorado occurs when a person knowingly enters another person’s property without their consent. The crime can be charged in varying degrees depending on what type of property the alleged trespasser entered and their intent when entering that property.

Degrees of Trespassing in Colorado

According to Colorado law, trespassing falls into three different degrees of severity. The factors that impact the severity of this charge can be complex, and a Colorado Springs trespassing attorney can help you navigate the legal process.

Third-Degree Criminal Trespass Charges

Third-degree criminal trespassing occurs when an individual enters or stays on another person’s property without consent. The least severe of the three degrees of trespassing in Colorado, this charge is often given when the trespassing individual knew the owner of the property or posed no threat to them.

Second-Degree Criminal Trespass Charges

Second-degree criminal trespassing occurs when an individual enters fenced or enclosed private property without the owner’s consent. This applies to common areas of private dwelling properties like motels, hotels, apartment complexes, and condominiums.

While still less severe than a first-degree criminal trespass, this charge can be elevated to a felony offense when certain aggravating factors are present.

First-Degree Criminal Trespass Charges

The most severe trespassing charge is reserved for those that enter another person’s home unlawfully. A first-degree criminal trespass doesn’t only apply to houses, though; it can apply to any dwelling or living quarters.

A defendant can be charged with this degree of trespassing if they unlawfully enter any of the following:

  • House
  • Apartment
  • Condo
  • Trailer home
  • Attached garage
  • Tent
  • Jail cell

In some cases, entering someone’s motor vehicle can result in a first-degree criminal trespass charge. This is particularly the case if it can be proven that the defendant did so with criminal intent.

Are Trespassing Consequences Severe?

There are three degrees of trespass charges in Colorado, which can result in a felony or misdemeanor charge. However, even a misdemeanor trespassing charge can result in a sentence that includes jail time.

Penalties for Third-Degree Trespass

Colorado’s trespassing in the third-degree charge is classified as either a class 3 misdemeanor or a petty offense.

A Class 3 Misdemeanor can include up to $750 in fines and a maximum of 6 months in jail. A Class 1 Petty Offense can consist of up to $500 in fines and a maximum of 6 months in jail. Whether any aggravating factors were present during the offense impacts the severity of the sentencing.

Penalties for Second-Degree Trespass

Trespassing in the second degree is typically considered a Class 2 Misdemeanor, depending on the case. A Class 2 Misdemeanor will be charged if certain aggravating factors exist, which raise the penalties to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of 364 days in jail.

Penalties for First-Degree Trespass

First-degree trespassing carries a Class 5 Felony charge and can carry penalties as high as three years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Other Consequences of Criminal Trespass Charges in Colorado

If you’re convicted of a felony-level trespassing charge in Colorado, you’re not just risking your freedom and finances; you could also be risking your future.

Aside from monetary fines and possible jail time associated with the conviction, a felony on your record could mean additional disadvantages in your future. These disadvantages include more limited employment and housing options, child custody restrictions, and being prohibited from owning firearms. At Right Law Group, our Colorado Springs trespassing attorney can help you mount a strong defense strategy to help you get your criminal charges dismissed, potentially helping you avoid jail time.

Contact a Colorado Springs Trespassing Attorney

You have a lot at stake when you’re facing criminal charges like trespassing. Not only is your freedom at risk, but your financial situation and future employment opportunities could also take a hit.

Having an experienced lawyer on your side is crucial in criminal defense, so call a Colorado Springs trespassing attorney to ensure you’ve explored every possible avenue to mitigate your charges. Contact Right Law Group today for a free consultation.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors impact penalties for trespassing in Colorado?

A factor that could increase a petty trespassing offense to a misdemeanor is whether the property unlawfully entered is considered agricultural land by the county assessor.

Trespassing charges are further increased to felony charges if it can be proven that the accused person intended to commit a felony when entering the premises.

How do you prove trespassing?

The most crucial thing prosecutors must prove in a trespassing case is that the defendant knew—or should have known—that the premises were private property and were not given consent to enter.

Evidence that proves the defendant was aware that they were not permitted on the property includes the presence of barriers like fences, gates, walls, or shrubs. It can also have property signs reading “No Trespassing” or “Private Property.”

How do you beat a trespassing charge?

A few defenses could either lessen the penalties for trespassing or dismiss the charges altogether.

These defenses include:

  • The defendant wasn’t the one that trespassed (i.e., The person on camera footage was someone else)
  • Signage around the property was not visible enough, so the defendant didn’t know not to enter
  • The defendant assumed permission and was not asked to depart from the premises
  • Trespassing occurred due to a threat to the safety of the defendant, their family, or the public

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution to establish that an alleged trespasser was not permitted on the property and that they knew as much.

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