In Colorado, the crime of burglary involves unlawfully entering or remaining in a building or dwelling with the intention of committing a felony offense. Even if the intended crime was not carried out, a defendant can still be charged with felony burglary. If the underlying crime was committed, a defendant will face burglary charges as well as the other crime he or she committed.
How is a Burglary Criminal Charge Determined?
The degree and nature of a Colorado burglary charge will depend on several facts including, but not limited to:
- Was there an assault committed during the burglary
- Was an alleged victim present when the burglary occurred
- What type of building the burglary took place in, i.e., was it a residence?
- Was a weapon present during the burglary
Type of Building
One of the elements of a Colorado burglary crime is that it be committed in a structure, a conveyance or a dwelling.
A structure is defined as any building with a roof, but can include areas like a fenced-in yard. Similarly, a dwelling is defined as any building or structure in which people lodge including mobile homes. Finally, a conveyance is any car, ship, truck, or other vehicle.
Intent to Commit a Crime
Colorado burglary crimes traditionally require that the perpetrator intend to commit a felony when entering the structure and the burglary is complete once the entry occurs with the requisite intent. This is true if the perpetrator does not, in fact, commit the crime or even attempt to commit it inside the structure.
It is also not burglary if the accused only forms the intent to commit the crime only after entering the structure.
The penalties for Colorado burglary crimes vary depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. They may range from probation to life in prison. Aggravating factors are important and can lead to increased punishment. Factors which may impact the severity of a burglary charge may include burglary of a place where people are present; use of a firearm; and causing injuries during the alleged burglary.