HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — There is no shortage of questions connected to what happened outside of a Highlands Ranch home last week.
A booby trap hurt a salesman. The device was one of two on the property and left the man hospitalized, according to court paperwork.
FOX31 got a legal lesson from analyst George Brauchler.
When does ‘no trespassing’ apply at a home?
Brauchler is clearing the air after the story triggered dozens of responses in the comments section on the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, some questioning the crime itself or claiming the punishment was too severe.
“You want to live in a place where you can put up a wall that nobody can get beyond, that’s one thing,” said Brauchler, a former district attorney. “But just setting up in suburbia with something that might cause serious bodily injury or death, just can’t do it.”
So what if you have “no trespassing signs” like the home where this all happened? Do you have the right to booby-trap your property then? Brauchler said no.
“You can’t say ‘no trespassing’ to public safety,” he said.
“For instance, let’s say there was a natural disaster and fire (officials) was going door to door to say, ‘Hey, there’s a house on fire at the end of the block. We’re coming to tell you to evacuate.’ ‘No trespassing’ does not allow you to keep (them) from coming to the door to try to help you.”
These are important reminders about the crucial steps homeowners should and shouldn’t take when protecting their homes.