What is the Law on Burglary in Colorado and what are the Punishments for it?
Burglary is basically any crime that involves breaking into the living space of a person mainly for the purpose of theft. Some countries such as Finland do not have laws defined specifically for burglary but they have charges for breaking into a household or entering a premise by force whereas some other countries such as North Korea and countries in the middle-east have extremely harsh rules not specifically for burglary but all crimes in general.
In the state Colorado, burglary is seen as a serious offense. Unlawfully entering a premise with the intention of theft, kidnapping or causing any harm is seen as burglary.
A person who is found guilty for burglary can be sentenced to imprisonment from 1 year to forty-eight years with a penalty that ranges from a thousand dollars to a million dollars. Stealing from a locked vault is seen to be a crime of lesser degree than breaking into a house.
It is quite difficult to prove the charges for burglary false. Only ways to defend against these charges are by proving that the person entered the property lawfully, or proving that the person wasn’t aware that he/she had entered the property unlawfully or that the person hadn’t entered the property with any intention of stealing or performing any other criminal activity.
Though these are exceptions made in the law, there are clear definitions for the words ‘knowingly’, ‘unlawfully’, ‘lawfully’ etc. which is applied in the above sentences which need to be met to get exempted from the charges.
Another exception is if the person who is accused of burglary was a person who was in the property lawfully and decided to steal something while on the property then burglary charges cannot be applied to that person but if a person enters a property with the intention of theft then it falls under burglary.
There are many degrees of burglary: 3rd degree, 2nd degree and 1st degree where 3rd is the lowest degree and 1st is the highest degree. The 3rd degree of burglary deals mainly with stealing money from a collection box or a vault or safe after breaking in.
A person is said to have committed the 2nd degree of burglary if he/she breaks into a place which is another person’s living area. The 1st degree of burglary involves breaking into a house or a living area with arms and ammunition or assaults the people living in that property etc.
Based on the degree of burglary, the punishments vary:1. One to three years of imprisonment along with a fine of thousand to hundred thousand dollars is the punishment for a person committing the 3rd degree of burglary but if the intention of the burglary was to steal a controlled substance then the punishment increases to two to six years of imprisonment with a fine of two thousand to five hundred thousand dollars.
2. For a 2nd degree burglary, the punishment is two to six years of imprisonment with a fine of two thousand to five hundred thousand dollars or four to twelve years imprisonment with a fine of three thousand dollars to seven hundred fifty thousand dollars.
3. In the case of a 1st-degree burglary, the punishment is eight to twenty-four years imprisonment with a fine of five thousand dollars to one million dollars. If the burglary involved theft of a controlled substance then it increases to prison sentence increases and becomes eight to twenty-four years of imprisonment. If there was violence or assault involved in the burglary then the imprisonment increases to range from sixteen to forty-eight years.