Denver Theft Attorney and Property Crime Lawyer Serving All of Colorado

Comprehensive Legal Defense for Property Crime and Theft Charges

Skilled Theft and Property Crime Lawyers in Colorado

As a leading criminal defense law firmMastro, Barnes & Stazzone, P.C. (MBS Law) understands that theft or property crime charges can not only pose serious legal ramifications but can also impact your reputation, livelihood, and future. The MBS legal team is dedicated to providing aggressive and effective representation for individuals facing theft crime charges in Denver and all of Colorado. With an extensive knowledge of Colorado law and a track record of success, we are committed to protecting our clients’ rights and providing skilled advocacy throughout the legal process.

Property Crime Attorney Colorado

Charged With A Property Offense? Our Property Crime Defense Attorneys Are Here to Defend You

Facing property crime charges in Colorado? MBS Law provides expert legal counsel for individuals accused of theft, vandalism, arson, burglary, and destruction of property. Our seasoned property crime attorneys craft strategic defenses tailored to your case, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process. With an unparalleled understanding of property crime charges and their consequences, our team navigates Colorado property crime law with precision and compassion. Contact us for dedicated advocacy and representation against property crime allegations.

Types of Theft & Property Cases We Handle

Our property and theft lawyers have represented clients in all types of cases, including the following:
  • Robbery
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Identity Theft
  • Motor Vehicle Theft (MV Theft)
  • False Information to Pawn Broker
If you are facing any type of theft or property charge, our expert team can help you navigate the legal process. Contact us today to get started.

Robbery

How Does Colorado Define Robbery?

CRS § 18-4-301 defines robbery as occurring when “a person knowingly takes anything of value from the person or presence of another by the use of force, threats, or intimidation.” The critical distinction here is that robbery involves the use of force, while theft does not.

There are three main robbery charges in Colorado, which include:

  • Simple Robbery: The least serious robbery charge, simple robbery occurs when an individual knowingly takes anything of value by using force. Force or fear is one of the main elements of robbery and must be proven to result in a conviction. If the property you took was rightfully yours or you were taking it to return it to the correct owner, you have not committed a robbery.
  • Aggravated Robbery: A charge of robbery is elevated to aggravated robbery if, during the act, the robber or accomplice meets any of the following criteria:
    • Is armed with a deadly weapon they intend to use to kill, maim, or wound the person if resisted
    • Wounds or strikes the victim with a deadly weapon or causes the victim or other bystanders to fear for their death or bodily injury
    • Indicates to the victim that they are armed with a deadly weapon or uses any item that has been altered to look like a weapon, such as a toy gun
  • Aggravated Robbery of Controlled Substances: An offense of robbery can be further elevated to this charge if you (a) meet the criteria of aggravated robbery and (b) the object you take is any controlled substance from a pharmacy, pharmacist, or another person who possesses the drugs legally.

What Are the Penalties of a Robbery Charge in Colorado?

The penalties and punishments for a robbery charge vary depending on which offense you are convicted of. All of the charges have the possibility for prison sentences and fines, as well as a criminal record that could affect your ability to secure a job or housing later in life. These lasting consequences are why it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to represent you and fight for your rights.

The punishments for the three levels of robbery include:

  • Simple Robbery: This offense is considered a class 4 felony in the state of Colorado. The sentence for this charge can include two to six years in prison, with three years of mandatory parole. In addition, you could also incur a fine ranging from $2,000 to $500,000. These penalties are often worse if the victim of your crime was 70 years or older or was disabled.
  • Aggravated Robbery: This offense is a class 3 felony and is also considered a Colorado extraordinary risk crime. Punishment for this crime can include four to sixteen years in prison, with five years of mandatory parole and a fine of up to $750,000. The maximum sentence can increase to 32 years if you used or threatened the use of a deadly weapon or seriously injured any person.
  • Aggravated Robbery of Controlled Substances: This crime is a class 2 felony in Colorado. The penalties for this serious crime can include a prison sentence of sixteen to 48 years, plus five years of mandatory parole. You can also incur a fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000.

THEFT

Theft Charges in Colorado: Misdemeanor Theft vs. Felony Theft

In Colorado, theft occurs when you knowingly take something that belongs to someone else. A person may also be accused of theft if they knowingly accepted the stolen property and failed to return it to the rightful owner. Instances can include shoplifting, passing bad checks, embezzlement and extortion.

Depending on the value of the stolen property, theft can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, each representing very different levels of severity and penalties.

  • Petty Theft: This misdemeanor charge occurs when an individual intentionally and unlawfully takes property worth less than $300 that does not belong to them. Individuals who have been charged with this crime can face:
    • Up to 10 days in jail
    • Fines of up to $300
    • Court-ordered victim restitution payments.
  • Misdemeanor Theft: Petty theft is an example of misdemeanor theft. However, theft of property between $300 and $2000 in value is still considered a misdemeanor in Colorado. Consequences for this charge can include:
    • Probation to 364 days in jail
    • A fine of up to $1000
  • Felony Theft (aka grand larceny or grand theft): This offense is defined as knowingly taking someone else’s property valued at $2000 or more. In addition, it is always considered a felony in Colorado to steal from an elderly or disabled person, regardless of item value. A conviction can include the following penalties:
    • 1-24 years in prison
    • Fines of up to $1 million
    • Restitution to the victim

What Are Typical Defense Strategies for Theft Cases in Colorado?

The best defense will always depend on the specifics of the case at hand. However, some common approaches include the following:
  • Proving the defendant’s sole ownership of the property/”stolen” goods.
  • Proving that the defendant did not intentionally or knowingly take the property.
  • Proving that the police’s search and seizure process was unconstitutional.
If you have been convicted of a theft-related crime in Colorado, don’t hesitate to reach out to our property crimes law firm. The MBS team can help support you throughout the entirety of your case and secure the best possible outcome.

BURGLARY & TRESPASS

Burglary vs. Trespass: What’s the Difference?

Although the terms “burglary” and “trespassing” may sometimes be used
interchangeably, these are not the same charges. Burglary and trespass charges are
both property crimes. However, in some cases, burglary may be prosecuted as a
violent crime. Here’s a look at how these two charges compare:

  • Trespassing: A person can be charged with trespassing if they unlawfully enter or remain on someone else’s property.
  • Burglary: Like trespassing, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining on another person’s property. However, burglary also involves the intent to commit or the execution of another crime.
It should be noted that in Colorado, it’s still possible to be charged with trespassing if the defendant allegedly intended to commit or did commit a crime while unlawfully on someone else’s property. However, crimes associated with trespassing tend to be less severe than those associated with burglary. For example, if a person commits vandalism, they might be charged with trespassing, whereas if a person commits arson, they would be charged with burglary.

Trespassing: Potential Charges in Denver Colorado

Colorado’s state laws include first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree trespassing charges, as outlined in more detail below.

  • First-Degree Trespass: This charge can be applied when an individual intentionally and unlawfully enters or remains in another person’s home OR enters another’s vehicle with the intent to commit a crime. This type of trespassing is the most serious, as these are places in which victims are most likely to be present.
  • Second-Degree Trespass: This charge can be applied to any of the following scenarios, in which someone knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in/on:
    • Someone else’s property that is enclosed or fenced off.
    • The grounds of a hotel, motel, condo, or apartment complex.
    • Someone else’s motor vehicle.
  • Third-Degree Trespass: Third-degree trespass is typically charged when the crime does not occur in someone’s dwelling and the property is not enclosed or visibly designed to keep people out.

Burglary: Potential Charges in Colorado

Colorado also separates burglary charges into three degrees of severity. Learn more about each degree of burglary below.

  • Third-degree burglary: Colorado State law defines third-degree burglary as follows – “A person commits third-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.” This charge can be applied to any locked box or container from which someone knowingly steals something that does not belong to them.
  • Second-degree burglary: Second-degree burglary involves breaking into, illegally entering, or unlawfully remaining in an occupied building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. A structure is something that can protect from the elements.
  • First-degree burglary: Burglary becomes a first-degree charge if any of the following occur while the defendant is on, entering, or leaving the property:
    • The defendant menaces or assaults anyone
    • The defendant is armed with explosives
    • The defendant uses a deadly weapon
    • The defendant possesses a deadly weapon and threatens to use it
If you are facing a burglary charge, reach out to the Denver property crimes defense lawyers at MBS Law today. Our attorneys can walk through the ins and outs of your case to develop the best possible defense strategy.

Denver CRIMINAL MISCHIEF defense lawyer

Fighting Criminal Mischief Allegations: What Can These Include?

Colorado defines criminal mischief as occurring when an individual “knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons.” Criminal mischief does not include stealing; instead, this term refers to the breaking, damaging or defacing of another person’s property.

Acts that fall within this category can be felonies, misdemeanors or petty offenses, depending on the severity or value of property damage. Some common examples include:

  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti
  • Slashed tires
  • Broken windows
  • Sending a virus to another
  • person’s or business’s computer
  • Tampering with fire alarms, emergency exits, or utility meters
If you have been charged with criminal mischief in Colorado, our attorneys can help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation, and we’ll get you started in the right direction.

What Are the Penalties for Criminal Mischief in Colorado?

The penalties for criminal mischief depend on the value of the property and the damage caused. See below for more details.

Value of Damage Colorado Penalties
> $300 Petty Offense:
  • Up to 10 days in jail
  • Up to $300 fine
Between $300 and $1000 Class 2 Misdemeanor:
  • Up to 120 days in jail
  • Up to $750 fine
Between $1000 and $2000 Class 1 Misdemeanor:
  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • Up to $1000 fine
Between $2000 and $5000 Class 6 Felony:
  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • Fine of $1000 to $100,000
Between $5000 and $20,000 Class 5 Felony:
  • 1-3 years in prison
  • Fine of $1000 to $100,000
Between $20,000 and $100,000 Class 4 Felony:
  • 2-6 years in prison
  • Fine of $2000 to $500,000
Between $100,000 and $1,000,000 Class 3 Felony:
  • 4-12 years in prison
  • Fine of $3000 to $750,000
$1 million or more Class 2 Felony:
  • 8-24 years in prison
  • Fine of $5000 to $1,000,000

What Are the Best Defense Strategies for a Criminal Mischief Charge?

The best approach to criminal mischief charges varies depending on the specifics of the individual case. However, here are some common defense strategies.

  • It was an accident. The defendant did not act intentionally.
  • It was an act of self-defense. The defendant was protecting themselves or others from harm.
  • It was a case of mistaken identity. Someone misidentified the defendant as the person who damaged property.
  • The defendant was falsely accused. Sometimes, people can falsely accuse someone of criminal mischief out of spite or revenge.
  • There was no damage caused. Those involved were mistaken about the damage, and no damage was actually done.
  • The property was overvalued. While this defense typically doesn’t get charges dropped, it could help secure a reduction of charges.

Criminal Mischief as a Domestic Violence Offense in Colorado

Often, criminal mischief charges may be filed in conjunction with a case involving domestic violence. Even if you are the partial or joint owner of the property you have intentionally damaged, you can still be charged with criminal mischief in the state of Colorado.
For example, let’s say you punched a hole in the wall of the home you shared with your spouse during a heated argument. You could face criminal mischief charges in addition to any domestic violence or assault charges also filed against you by your spouse. Even if you damaged the property you bought yourself, such as your spouse’s cell phone, you could still face criminal mischief charges.
If found guilty of criminal mischief involving domestic violence, you could also be asked to attend domestic violence classes for up to a year as part of your sentencing.

FRAUD

What Are Common Examples of Fraud in Colorado?

Colorado defines fraud the act of intentionally deceiving someone with the intent of unfairly benefiting or causing harm. Fraud can involve various forms of deceit, misrepresentation, false statements, or concealment of material facts, with the purpose of obtaining money, property, services, or other advantages.
Common examples of fraud charges in Colorado include:
  • Identity Theft: Knowingly using another person’s personal identifying information without their permission to make a payment or obtain something of value. Identity theft is a class 4 felony in Colorado, and penalties can include up to 6 years in prison and/or fines of up to $500,000. A Denver identity theft defense lawyer can help you navigate these complex charges.
  • Forgery: Falsely making, altering, or completing a written document with the intent to defraud or injure another. Examples of forged documents include: wills, tax returns, job recommendation letters, transcripts, and more. Note that simply possessing the materials necessary to commit forgery is a crime according to Colorado law. Consequences include 1-3 years in prison and/or fines between $1000 and $100,000.
  • Insurance Fraud: Deliberately providing false or misleading information to an insurance company for the purpose of obtaining insurance benefits, premiums, or payments to which one is not entitled. Insurance fraud is a class 5 felony in Colorado and can result in 1-3 years in jail and up to $100,000 in fines.
  • Money Laundering: Intentionally engaging in financial transactions with the intent to conceal the source, ownership, or control of unlawfully obtained funds, with the purpose of promoting or furthering criminal activity. Colorado deems this offense a class 3 felony, with penalties of 4-12 years in prison and fines between $3000 and $750,000.
If you are facing fraud charges, reach out to our felony theft attorneys in Denver today. We can help you navigate the legal complexities surrounding your specific case, so you can achieve the best possible outcome.

Identity Theft Colorado: Finding an Identity Theft Lawyer Near You

Identity theft (ID theft) is an increasingly common crime that can create a wide range of negative consequences for victims. With a large amount of personally-identifiable information exchanged every day, people are more vulnerable than ever to criminal identity theft. As a result, awareness is on the rise and punishments are growing harsher.

Individuals charged with identity theft face judges and juries who have little sympathy for the crime they are alleged to have committed, but it is important to remember that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. If you are facing a charge of this kind, the Denver identity theft defense attorneys at MBS Law (Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone, P.C.) can help you fight the case with a smart, well-reasoned defense. The prosecutors must prove that you used personally-identifiable information to defraud or deceive, typically to obtain something of value.

White Collar Crimes Colorado: Effective Defense Strategies

These types of crimes are particularly complex, which is why you should also hire an experienced white collar criminal attorney who can walk you through the process. Our legal team conducts thorough investigations for our clients in order to develop solid legal defense strategies, including:
  • Mistaken identity (e.g. your computer was hacked or your identity stolen)
  • Entrapment (the police enticed you into committing the act of wrongdoing)
  • Lack of fraudulent intent
  • Improper police investigative techniques, which are inadmissible in court
  • Insufficient evidence
Looking for immediate assistance? Simply contact our office today, and we can help you get started on the right track.

Helping Clients Throughout the Denver Metro Area

Why You Should Hire a Denver Property Crimes Defense Attorney to Assist in Your Case

Helping Clients Throughout the Denver Metro Area

Seeking legal assistance for a criminal case? Contact us today.

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