1st Degree Trespassing

1st degree trespassing is a serious crime. Trespass is charged in situations where a person unlawfully enters or remains in a place. Because unlawfully “remain[ing] in a place” is prohibited, you can be charged with trespass if you stay somewhere after you are told to leave or are supposed to leave—even if you initially entered lawfully. As with assault, there are different levels, or degrees, of trespass. The degree of trespass gets more serious if the place where you trespass is more private, like a fenced-in area or a home. The degrees of trespass, in order of increasing seriousness, are third-, second-, and first-degree trespass:

1st Degree Trespass[1]:

“(1) A person commits the crime of first degree criminal trespass if such person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling of another or if such person enters any motor vehicle with intent to commit a crime therein. First degree criminal trespass is a class 5 felony.”

1st degree trespassing is trespassing into a person’s home, or trespassing into a person’s car with intent to commit a crime in the vehicle. It is the most serious of the trespass charges. You are looking at a felony. You are facing not only jail time and fines, but a permanent stain on your record that will affect your ability to get housing, own firearms, and participate in society.

Type of Offense Presumptive Penalty Range
Class 5 Felony 1-3 years’ imprisonment and/or $1,000-$100,000 fine[2]

The court in trespass cases can, however, sentence you to an alternative instead of jail, like in-home detention or work release. And there may be defenses be available to you. If it is your first offense, you may be eligible for a deferred judgment or some other arrangement to keep your record clean. You should discuss your options with a lawyer right away and hire counsel ready to fight for the best outcome. If you’ve been charged with 1st degree trespassing in Colorado, call a criminal defense attorney at CGH today for a free consultation regarding your case.

[1] C.R.S. § 18-4-502

[2] C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401