H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Why Are Businesses Denied Colorado’s Make My Day Protections?

Again — this year – the Colorado State Legislature defeated along party lines ( demoncrats opposed and republicans supported) a bill that would have provided Make My Day protections to Colorado Businesses.

For the fifth consecutive year – this time under the Bill Number – Senate Bill 77, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, – the law – which would have allowed company owners, managers or employees to use deadly force against someone who had entered a business unlawfully and who they believed intended to commit a crime – was defeated 3-2.

Locally owned grocery and convenience stores – owners who take the risks of making evening deposits — or who are involved in a cash intense bsiness, would have provided additonal self defense protections now enjoyed by private homeowners.

The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police helped to defeat the measure – testifying that the measure was written too broadly and could provide protection for people who use deadly violence to protect something as small as a candy bar rather than to defend themselves.


H. Michael’s Take

As a former DA in Douglas and Arapahoe counties — I remember well the warnings of law enforcement at the time of their opposition to the first version of the Make My Day law. At that time — the argument was that homeowners could use the law — to lay a trap for the unwary – committ a killing – and then argue they are entitled to the immunity granted by the Make My Day law. This fear was myth and unreality. These fears never led to fact and the law has been successfully used by those defending their homes for more than a decade.

I believe the same arguments are now being used to keep this new law from passage.

Business owners are entitled to defend themselves – as are homeowners. The young man or girl who hears a burglar breaking into their businesses late at night should not have to guess whether they can use deadly force to protect themselves. They should receive the same protections of the homeowner under the same circumstances.