Being accused of trespassing while you’re hunting is a serious situation and can often feel like a hopeless one. There are things you can do however to fight your trespassing violation.
Trespassing in Colorado is what is called a “strict liability” crime, meaning it doesn’t matter whether you meant to or even knew you were trespassing when you are accused of doing so. If the State can prove that you were on property that you did not have permission to be on, then you are guilty of trespassing. That being said, the State must absolutely prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in fact on said property. Any number of factors could limit their ability to do so:
- Were you seen by an officer or game warden? How far away was the officer when he saw you and how did he determine that you were in fact trespassing?
- Is there evidence that you were on property without permission such as shell casings, gut piles, or footprints?
- Were you following a wounded or downed animal that ran or flew onto the property after you shot it? (Certain restrictions apply to your ability to follow wounded game in Colorado)
- What resource is the officer relying on when charging you with trespassing? Is the officer’s information correct? Do you have an easement, lease, or other written document showing your right to be on the property?
As you can see, there are plenty of questions that need to be asked when you are accused of trespassing. Trespassing tickets come with 20 points on your hunting license in Colorado, meaning you will most likely lose your license for a period of time if you pay and plead guilty to the ticket. The offense is also a misdemeanor that will come with fines and permanent mark on your record. Speaking with Nate Gilbert, a Denver attorney, will help you decide your options if you receive a trespassing ticket. Having defended trespassing charges, Nate can help you decide what to do and preserve your rights in your defense.