Trespassing can be a serious offense in Denver and throughout Colorado. This year on the news we saw the Bronco's backup QB charged with Trespassing, felons caught camping in a cemetery in Colorado Springs, and a man fined for trespassing after jumping into the diving pool at Casa Bonita, all among the many occurrences of criminal trespass. With Christmas Eve now here, I was wondering if Santa himself would be charged with Trespassing if he were caught leaving presents under the Christmas Tree.
Definition of Trespassing in Arapahoe County
Trespassing is separated into three legal definitions in Colorado: First, Second, and Third Degree Criminal Trespass. A person can be charged with Third Degree Criminal Trespass, a class 1 petty offense, in Arapahoe County if they unlawfully enter or remain in or upon the premises of another. If the premises of another are enclosed in a manner designed to keep out intruders or are fenced, it is considered Second Degree Criminal Trespass. Santa would land his sleigh on upon one's house, and he would enter the house, obviously designed to exclude intruders. It doesn't matter if he went through the front door or down the chimney with a bound; if he were caught he could be charged with a class 3 misdemeanor.
If a person enters a dwelling of another unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime there, they can be charged with First Degree Criminal Trespass. So if Santa were to enter into a home in Centennial or Englewood tonight with the intent to steal some milk and cookies, or to walk out with presents instead of leaving some, he could be charged with a class 5 felony.
Penalty for Criminal Trespass in Jefferson County
Penalties for criminal Trespass in Jefferson County can widely vary depending on which degree you are charged with, what your intentions were, and the location. The lowest penalty, a class 1 petty offense, has a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a $500 fine. The highest penalty, a class 4 felony, will mean anywhere between 2-6 years in prison and fines as high as $500,000.
See our Trespassing page for more information.
Adams County Defense Attorney for Trespassing Charges
So the answer is yes: Santa's actions would qualify as Criminal Trespass. If you've been charged with Trespassing this holiday season, our lawyers are here to help. If you are contacted by Adams County police, exercise your right to remain silent; they truly will use anything you say against you in court. Instead, call Sawyer Legal Group as soon as possible at 303-830-0880 to schedule a jail visit or to set up a free initial consultation. Together, we can protect your future.