While it is the least severe type of burglary crime, the penalties for possessing burglary tools can still be serious. If a person possesses tools, the offense could constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor, but if they possess the tools with the intent to forcibly enter a dwelling they can face a Class 5 felony that carries up to three years of prison, up to $100,000 in fines, and two years of mandatory parole. Understanding what the prosecution needs to prove to show that the crime happened beyond a reasonable doubt is helpful. The elements of offense outline the factors a jury needs to prove to indict for possession of burglary tools offense.
Elements of Offense in Possession of Burglary Tools
In a burglary case, a jury must prove the main offense elements for a criminal indictment.
- Possession—The person possessed a tool, explosive, instrument, or article
- Use—The device is commonly used for an offense involving physical entry into the property
- Criminal intent—The person intended to use the tool to commit a burglary
Possible Defenses for Possession of Burglary Tools
Therefore, to successfully defend against the possession of burglary tools conviction, you need to prove that:
- You possessed a tool that is not commonly used for burglary crimes
- You did not intend to commit a burglary crime using the tool
Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-4-205:
(1) A person commits possession of burglary tools if he possesses any explosive, tool, instrument, or other article adapted, designed, or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of an offense involving forcible entry into premises or theft by a physical taking, and intends to use the thing possessed or knows that some person intends to use the thing possessed in the commission of such an offense.
(2) Possession of burglary tools is a class 2 misdemeanor, but it is a class 5 felony if the burglary tools were knowingly possessed to facilitate a forcible entry into a residence for the purpose of a physical taking.