Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney – Breaking & Entering
The crime of “breaking and entering” is quite broad and encompasses a myriad of situations where an individual forcibly enters a building without permission. In general, the legal definition of breaking and entering is found under North Carolina G.S. Article 14, and the simple action of wrongfully breaking or entering any building is a misdemeanor. It is important to remember that the misdemeanor crime is only for breaking and entering, whereas any actions or even the intent of action can compound the seriousness of this offense and make it a felony.
Whether a misdemeanor or a felony charge, being convicted of breaking and entering can pose lifelong consequences, making it difficult to find a job, apply for housing, and more. Fortunately, with the aid of a prominent Raleigh breaking & entering attorney, we can help fight these charges, protect your rights, and maintain your freedom.
The Importance of Intent
If you or a loved one was charged with breaking and entering, one thing that prosecutors will do is look for intent, the “why” that guided the alleged unlawful breaking and entering of a building. According to North Carolina law, forcibly entering any building without permission is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries the potential penalty of 120 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment.
While you were allegedly in the building, however, the prosecution may argue that you intended to commit any felony or larceny, or you intended to terrorize or injure an occupant of the building. If the prosecution is able to successfully argue this aspect of the case, you may be charged with a Class H Felony. In comparison to the Class 1 misdemeanor, a Class H felony can be punishable by 4 to 25 months imprisonment and, as a felon, you’ll face continual restrictions on your rights, such as owning a firearm.
Examples of Breaking and Entering Crimes
The State of North Carolina provides further definitions regarding breaking and entering. For instance, the law defines “any building” as any dwellings, inhabited and uninhabited houses, buildings under construction, buildings within the curtilage of a dwelling house, and any other structure designed to house or secure within it any activity or property.
As an example, climbing over a fenced area as you are passing through someone’s field might not be considered breaking and entering (though NC trespassing laws could apply). Entering someone else’s tent, however, can be breaking and entering and, because tents are often broken into for the purpose of theft, an intent to commit larceny could be tacked onto this offense. Other examples could include entering a doghouse, corn crib, telephone booth, a carport, and several others types of buildings.
Call Raleigh Felony Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley Today
Immediately after the arrest, it is important to use your right to remain silent and not speak to police or prosecutors until you have an experienced Raleigh defense attorney at your side. Anything you say could be used against you to prove intent on committing larceny or another felony.
By contacting the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we will diligently fight for your side of the story and investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. We will use leading defense strategies but we will always put your interests at the forefront of our criminal defense case. Most importantly, we approach every case with compassion and we will always uphold the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty. Call Raleigh defense attorney Dewey Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation regarding your case.