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18-4-205. Possession of Burglary Tools

18-4-205. Possession of Burglary Tools

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Colorado statute CRS 18-4-205 — or possession of burglary tools — is a criminal charge defined as knowingly possessing burglary tools with intent to forcibly enter a dwelling or occupied building. It is a Class 5 felony and is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

If the District Attorney cannot prove that a person knowingly possessed the tools with the intent to forcibly enter a dwelling, they can still charge a Class 2 misdemeanor for simply possessing the tools.

Penalties for Possession of Burglary Tools in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Burglary: First Degree Felony Class 3: up to $750,000 in fines; up to 12 years incarceration
Burglary: Second Degree Felony Class 3: up to $750,000 in fines; up to 12 years incarceration

Class 4: up to $500,00 in fines; up to 6 years incarceration

Burglary: Third Degree Felony Class 5: up to to $100,000 in fines; up to 3 years incarceration
Burglary: Possessing Tools Felony

Misdemeanor

Class 5: up to $100,000 in fines; up to 3 years incarceration

Class 2: up to 120 days in jail; up to $750 in fines.

(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-4-202, 18-4-203, 18-4-204, 18-4-205.)

Here is What the Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You

The elements of the crime of possession of burglary tools are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2.  in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. possessed 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
  4. intended to use the thing possessed, or knew that some person intended to use the thing possessed, in the commission of such an offense.
  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 Possession of Burglary Tools in Colorado

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.

They include:

  • 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.

Have you been charged or arrested for possessing burglary tools in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

First, you should know that possessing burglary tools in Colorado is a crime with severe consequences, including heavy fines and a prison sentence.

To be convicted, a prosecutor must convince a jury that you intended to unlawfully use the tool(s) in your possession to enter a property.

A criminal burglary charge requires a jury to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many possible defenses to a possession of burglary tools charge, including whether the tool is commonly used in burglary crimes and whether the defendant possessed the tool to commit a theft crime.

To defend yourself against a possessing burglary tools charge, it is helpful to understand how the law applies and what the District Attorney in El Paso County must prove to indict you. Contact a criminal defense attorney at Right Law Group for more help.

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

Call today for a free case evaluation.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you have to steal for it to be considered a felony in Colorado?

Under Colorado criminal law, stealing products valued at $2,000 or more qualifies as a felony. If you’ve stolen property on more than one occasion, the court could lump the sum to bring felony charges against you.

What class of felony is burglary in Colorado?

In Colorado, burglary can be charged as a Class 3, Class 4, or Class 5 felony, depending on the circumstances. The penalty could be more severe if the burglary occurred in a dwelling or occupied structure. If the burglary was committed with the intent of criminal trespass to steal controlled substances, it could also be considered a more severe Class 3 felony crime.

How serious is burglary in Colorado?

Committing any burglary or related offenses in Colorado is considered a serious crime. Burglary charges are given felony classifications.

A third-degree burglary crime in Colorado is severe enough to warrant a Class 5 felony charge and carry up to $100,000 in fines and three years in jail, while a first-degree burglary charge carries up to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.