Every year the state of Colorado hosts many visitors. Whether they are drawn to the great skiing, incredible scenery or legalized marijuana there’s truly something for everyone. With all of its beauty, many visitors may want to explore their surroundings. Those who are inclined to go off the beaten path and do some “urban exploring” in empty buildings are probably not thinking about criminal trespassing laws. Therefore, they may be very surprised when they suddenly find themselves in trouble with the law.
Trespassing in Colorado is a criminal offense. Those who get caught doing so could find themselves facing serious charges. That’s why it is important to know the rules before you begin your vacation.
There are three levels of trouble you could be in
There are three degrees of criminal trespassing in Colorado:
- First degree criminal trespassing is defined as unlawfully and knowingly entering or remaining in the dwelling or motor vehicle of another person with the intent to commit a crime. The penalty for this includes up to four years in jail and a fine of $1,000-$100,000. It is always a felony.
- Second degree criminal trespassing involves unlawfully entering or remaining on premises with an enclosure or fence designed to keep out intruders. This also applies to common areas of hotels, dwellings or another person’s motor vehicle. Penalties include having your driver’s license revoked, up to six years in prison with fines ranging anywhere from $50-$500,000. It can be a felony or misdemeanor.
- Third degree criminal trespassing is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining on another person’s premises. An offender could get anywhere from six months to three years in jail and a fine ranging from $50-$100,000. It can also be a felony or misdemeanor.
With steep penalties such as these, visitors need to proceed with caution. Should you suddenly find yourself charged with criminal trespassing while on your Colorado vacation seek out local, experienced legal assistance.