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CRS 18-4-502

Colorado First-Degree Criminal Trespass

Colorado statute CRS 18-4-502—known as first-degree criminal trespass—is a Class 5 felony that occurs when a person willfully enters the residence or dwelling of another person without their consent. This charge also applies when a person unlawfully enters another person’s motor vehicle in order to commit criminal activity.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

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Penalties for First-Degree Criminal Trespass in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
First-Degree Criminal Trespass Class 1 Misdemeanor


  • Maximum of $1,000 in fines and/or
  • 364 days in jail
Second-Degree Criminal Trespass Class 2 Misdemeanor
  • Maximum of $750 in fines and/or
  • 120 days in jail
Third-Degree Criminal Trespass Petty offense
  • Maximum of $300 in fines and/or
  • 10 days in jail
Second-Degree Criminal Trespassing on agricultural land in Colorado with intent to engage in felony criminal activity Class 4 Felony
  • Fines of $2,000–$500,000 and/or
  • 2–6 years in prison


Third-Degree Criminal Trespassing on agricultural land in Colorado with intent to engage in felony criminal activity Class 5 Felony
  • Fines of $1,000–$100,000 and/or
  • 1–3 years in prison
First-Degree Criminal Trespassing of an occupied or inhabited dwelling Class 6 Felony
  • Fines of $1,000–$100,000 and/or
  • 1–18 months in prison
  • 1 year mandatory parole
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-3-202, 18-3-203, 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-406, 18-1.3-501.)    

Here Is What The Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You


To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed first-degree criminal trespass, the prosecutor must prove the following elements, as outlined in Colorado criminal law:

  1. You were, in fact, physically in the dwelling in question
  2. You knowingly entered a private dwelling
  3. You entered the property without the owner’s consent
  4. If the property was a motor vehicle, you entered it with the intent to perform a criminal activity
  5. If there is an affirmative defense raised, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense.

Possible Defenses for First-Degree Criminal Trespass in Colorado


he best defenses for first-degree criminal trespass are that:

  • You weren’t in the dwelling and were misidentified as the trespasser (i.e., video footage).
  • You were unaware that you were entering a private dwelling
  • You had the consent of the property owner to enter
  • The property didn’t qualify as a dwelling under the legal definition
  • You had no intention of committing a crime in the vehicle you entered

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-4-502:

A person commits the crime of first degree criminal trespass if such person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling of another or if such person enters any motor vehicle with intent to commit a crime therein. First degree criminal trespass is a class 5 felony.

Have you been charged or arrested for first-degree criminal trespass in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?


A criminal trespass charge puts you at risk for hefty fines, jail time, and even prison. For a prosecutor to achieve your conviction, they must prove your guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s crucial to understand Colorado law regarding first-degree criminal trespass charges and how a Colorado Springs District Attorney will use it in your specific case.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between first- and second-degree criminal trespass?

First-degree criminal trespass involves the offender entering or remaining in another person’s dwelling unlawfully – or without their consent. It also includes entering another person’s vehicle unlawfully, but only if they intended to commit a crime.

Second-degree criminal trespass, on the other hand, applies to those who unlawfully enter another person’s vehicle or their property when it was enclosed to prevent intruders. This includes fenced-in areas of private property as well as lobbies and other common areas of apartment complexes, condos, or hotels.

What is a dwelling under Colorado Law?

When it comes to criminal trespassing, a dwelling is considered a structure or portion of a structure whose use is to be a home or a designated sleeping place for its resident.

Dwellings are not limited to traditional homes, though, and can include:

  • Apartments
  • Houses
  • Attached garages
  • Condos
  • Trailer homes
  • Jail cells

Does a criminal trespassing conviction affect immigration status?

Those who are not U.S. citizens and are accused of first-degree criminal trespass may need to be more careful about plea bargains for this charge in Colorado.

Some trespassing circumstances could be considered immorally deviant by the court and pose the risk of deportation. An expert criminal defense attorney can help navigate the complex waters of criminal charges and immigration.

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