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CRS 18-4-504

Colorado Third–Degree Criminal Trespass

Colorado statute CRS 18-4-504—third-degree criminal trespassing—is a Class 1 petty offense punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a fine up to $500. It is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining upon another person’s premises and can be enhanced if trespassing occurred on agricultural land.

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Penalties for Criminal Trespassing in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalties
First-Degree Criminal Trespassing Misdemeanor or Felony
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 6 Felony: 1–18 months in prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines
Second-Degree Criminal Trespassing Misdemeanor, Felony, or Petty Offense
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Up to 120 days in jail and/or up to $750 in fines
  • Class 4 Felony: 2–6 years in prison and/or a up to $500,000 in fines
  • Petty Offense: Up to 10 days in jail and/or up to $300 in fines
Third-Degree Criminal Trespassing Petty Offense or Class 5 Felony
  • Class 5 Felony: 1–3 years in prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines
  • Petty Offense: Up to 10 days in jail and/or up to $300 in fines
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-4-502, 18-4-503, 18-4-504.)

Possible Defenses for Third-Degree Criminal Trespass in Colorado

A third-degree criminal trespass charge is no small matter. Since most are considered a “petty offense,” it may give you a false sense that the charges against you aren’t serious. But a criminal trespass conviction can result in jail time and a criminal record easily accessible to future employers, lenders, and landlords.

There’s hope. Regardless of your charges, the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction.

The elements required to prove a criminal trespass charge in Colorado Springs include:

  • You knowingly entered or remained on someone else’s property
  • You did not have permission or authority to be on the premises
  • You trespassed on agricultural land with the intent to commit a felony

A Colorado criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get your charges dismissed or reduced by using the following defense strategies.

  1. The defendant had permission to be on the property
  2. The defendant was unaware they were trespassing
  3. The land was not agricultural
  4. The prosecution cannot prove a crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt

A third-degree criminal trespass charge isn’t something you should tackle alone. Consult a qualified defense attorney about your options.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-4-504:

(1) A person commits the crime of third degree criminal trespass if such person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon premises of another.

(2) Third degree criminal trespass is a class 1 petty offense, but:

(a) It is a class 3 misdemeanor if the premises have been classified by the county assessor for the county in which the land is situated as agricultural land pursuant to section 39-1-102 (1.6), C.R.S.; and

(b) It is a class 5 felony if the person trespasses on premises so classified as agricultural land with the intent to commit a felony thereon.

Have you been charged with or arrested for third-degree criminal trespassing in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

Criminal trespassing laws are complicated, but the penalties are clear—if you’re convicted of a third-degree criminal trespassing charge, you’ll be stripped of your freedoms, spend time in jail, and pay hefty fines. At Right Law Group, we aim to ensure that doesn’t happen by providing aggressive legal defense on your behalf. We’ll challenge the charges against you to get a positive outcome in your case.

Contact our law firm today to get a free consultation.

Call now if you have been Arrested

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered “premises” under Colorado law?

Premises are considered real property, buildings, other improvements thereon, stream banks, and beds of any non-navigable freshwater streams flowing through such real property.

What is considered agricultural land in Colorado Springs?

The El Paso County tax assessors office classifies agricultural land. Land must meet specific qualifications, such as being used for farming or ranching for three straight years, having qualifying livestock graze most of the property, and other requirements. If the land is not considered agricultural, criminal trespassing will not warrant a felony offense.

Does private land have to be posted in Colorado?

Private land does not have to be posted or fenced in Colorado. Unfortunately, this can lead individuals to accidentally wander onto private property—especially agricultural land—unaware they are committing a severe trespassing violation.

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