Burglary is a serious offense in Colorado, and one that prosecutors aggressively pursue. The penalties for a conviction can be harsh, too, affecting an individual’s life for a long time to come. If you’ve been accused of burglary and want to protect your freedom and your future, then you need to know the law so that you can defend yourself as fully as possible.

Let’s look at first-degree burglary as an example. Under Colorado law, first-degree burglary occurs when an individual knowingly acts in an unlawful fashion to either enter or stay in a building with the intent to commit a crime other than trespassing. In addition, for a burglary charge to be categorized as first-class, the accused individual must have committed that act while armed with a deadly weapon or explosives, or he or she threatens or otherwise assaults someone in the home.

There is a lot packed into that law that a prosecutor has to prove in order to obtain a conviction. So, when creating a criminal defense strategy, you might want to consider how to mitigate a showing of knowing entry or staying in a building. You also can challenge whether that act was unlawful in the first place. Then, you can argue the intent to commit a crime. If a crime is committed but unintentionally, then first-degree burglary has not occurred. Of course, this type of argument may still lead to a conviction, but one with lesser penalties.

The point is that there are many avenues open to you when facing criminal charges, including those involving burglary. To craft a competent and aggressive defense strategy, though, you’ll need to know the law and how to apply it favorably to the facts at hand. If you think you could benefit from assistance in doing so, then it might be time for you to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney of your choosing.