Crimes involving the alteration of destruction of another’s property without their permission are known as property crimes. There is a vast array of offenses that fit under the umbrella of property crimes such as burglary, criminal mischief, trespass, theft, and robbery. Although most property crimes yield relatively minor penalties, some can result in serious life-changing consequences that could haunt you for years.
The penalties for a property crime will depend on the value of the property altered, stolen or damaged. Damage done to public property that’s necessary for society such as the public water supply or electric grid will automatically result in a felony. Other factors could enhance your sentencing including the use of weapons, violence, or involvement of drugs. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face years in prison as well as expensive court fines.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a property crime, then it’s within your best interest to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Property Crime Defense Lawyer in Denver, CO
Have you been accused of a property crime such as criminal mischief or robbery? If so, then we highly recommend you contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Matthew Martin of Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. has years of experience defending his clients from all sorts of charges including property crimes. He can evaluate your case during a free consultation and then begin to build your defense to effectively and efficiently fight your charges.
Get started on your defense as soon as possible with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. by calling our office at (303) 725-0017. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. has offices in Denver, but accepts clients in nearby counties including Adams County, Arapahoe County, Broomfield County, Jefferson County, Douglas County, and Boulder County.
- Crimes Against Property Examples in CO
- Colorado Property Crime Statistics
- Property Crime Enhancements
- Additional Resources
Crimes Against Property Examples in Colorado
The term “property crime” refers to a multitude of offenses under Colorado law. These types of crime are centered around property, objects, or items, which differs from other types of crime such as domestic violence or sex offenses who focus on people. Although some property crimes are more serious than others, all offenses must include the deprivation, destruction or alteration of someone’s property without their consent.
- Criminal Mischief – Damaging another’s property willfully and without their consent is criminal mischief. It’s commonly referred to as vandalism as a common criminal mischief action to do is to spray-paint on public property.
- Burglary – It might be surprising to hear, but burglary is a property crime as it involves trespassing onto another’s property. Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. It’s normally charged as a felony in Colorado and the extent of the penalties will depend on the details of the crime committed.
- Trespassing – Unlawfully entering or remaining on someone’s property is known as trespassing under Colorado law.
- Arson – Intentionally setting fire to someone else’s or your own property is known as arson. The penalties for arson can be incredibly serious especially if someone suffered from a severe injury or died as a result of the crime.
- Defacing Property – Defacing any property such as a historical monument is a class 2 misdemeanor, which can result in up to 12 months in jail.
Property Crime Statistics in Colorado
The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice’s Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) has over the years collected statistics related to crime in Colorado. The report is collected from 240 law enforcement agencies throughout the state on an annual basis. The data is inputted and maintained by the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI). The following are some property crime statistics from those reports.
- In 2018, it was recorded that 2,676 people were arrested for auto theft
- In 2019, it was recorded that 2,991 people were arrested for auto theft
- In 2018, it was recorded that 2,442 people were arrested for burglary
- In 2019, it was recorded that 2,618 people were arrested for burglary
- In 2018, it was recorded that 21,372 people were arrested for types of theft
- In 2019, it was recorded that 20,673 people were arrested for types of theft
- In 2018, it was recorded that 222 people were arrested for arson
- In 2019, it was recorded that 210 people were arrested for arson
Property Crime Sentencing Enhancements in CO
The state of Colorado has different sentencing ranges for felonies, but other factors could very well influence the judge’s decision when imposing a sentence. Colorado law has certain enhancements that could be made to a sentence if certain factors are proven to be true. Whenever this occurs, it’s important you have an attorney on your side to contest the enhancement as soon as possible. One enhancement can turn 5 years in prison to 10 or 20.
The following are some enhancements that could be made to your property crime sentence.
- It’s a Crime of Violence – Under Colorado law, offenses that are classified as crimes of violence automatically have their minimum and maximum sentencing ranges enhanced. A crime is considered violent if a deadly weapon was used, possessed or threatened during the commission of the crime. An offense can also be labeled a crime of violence if someone was sustained a serious bodily injury or died because of the crime.
- Extraordinary Aggravating Factors – If any of the following factors apply, then the court must impose a sentence at least midpoint of the presumption ranges up to twice the maximum in the presumptive range. Thankfully, a prison sentence is not mandatory, and the court can choose to grant probation instead. The following are those extraordinary aggravating factors that could enhance your sentence.
- You were on parole for another felony during the commission of the offense
- You were on probation or were on bond while awaiting sentencing after the revocation of probation for another felony
- You were under confinement or prison as a convicted felon
- You were an escapee from a correctional institution for another felony
- You were on an appeal bond following your conviction for a previous felony
- You were on probation or on bond awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for a delinquent act that would be tried as a felony if you were an adult at the time
Colorado Legal Resources – Follow the link to visit the Colorado Legal Resource Public Access Website. View the Colorado laws regarding property crimes, their penalties, possible admissible defenses, and other relevant information.
Colorado’s Property Crime Has Spiked in 2020 – Visit the official website for FOX 31 Denver & Channel 2, also known as KDVR-TV. Access the site to read up on their story about how COVID-19 has impacted officer’s response to criminal calls, how property crimes have seem to skyrocket since the pandemic, and what they plan to do to stop it.
Denver Defense Lawyer for Property Crimes in Colorado
While property crimes are relatively nonviolent, the penalties for committing one are still incredibly serious. If you or someone you love has been arrested for a property crime, it’s within your best interest to contact an experienced attorney at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. At Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., we promise to work diligently and tirelessly until we receive the most favorable outcome for your specific situation.
Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation for free. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area including Adams County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Jefferson County, and Douglas County.