3rd degree burglary occurs when a person breaks into a safe, cash register, or other money depository or product dispenser (as opposed to a building or home) with an intent to commit a crime, such as theft. While this is the least serious degree of burglary, it is still a felony, and you will need a criminal defense attorney to represent you if you are charged with 3rd degree burglary. You are facing prison time and serious fines. The definition of burglary, and its sentencing ranges, are discussed below. If you have been charged with 2nd degree burglary click here. If you have been charged with 1st degree burglary click here.
3rd Degree Burglary
(1) A person commits 3rd degree burglary if with intent to commit a crime he enters or breaks into any vault, safe, cash register, coin vending machine, product dispenser, money depository, safety deposit box, coin telephone, coin box, or other apparatus or equipment whether or not coin operated.
(2) 3rd degree burglary is a class 5 felony, but it is a class 4 felony if it is a burglary, the objective of which is the theft of a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102(5), lawfully kept in or upon the property burglarized.
That means that 3rd degree burglary is generally a class 5 felony. But it becomes a class 4 felony if a person breaks into the safe, depository, etc., for the purpose of stealing drugs.
If you are charged with committing a Class 5 felony, then you are facing a recommended range of 1-3 years in prison with two years of parole and fines ranging from $1,000-$100,000. If you are facing the Class 4 felony because you are accused of breaking into a depository to steal drugs, then you are facing a recommended range of 2-6 years in prison with three years of parole and fines ranging from $2,000-$500,000.
The Court can, however, decide that prison is not an appropriate sentence. In those situations you may be sentenced to probation, work release, community corrections, or some combination of the above. If it is your first offense, you may be eligible for a deferred sentence, which would allow you to seal your record if you successfully completed the terms of your sentence.
If you have been charged with 3rd degree burglary, do not delay. Call one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at CGH for a free consultation!
 C.R.S. § 18-4-204
 C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401
 C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401