Is Breaking and Entering a Felony?
If you are wondering is breaking and entering a felony, this post will explain everything you need to know. Each state has different breaking and entering rules. In general, breaking and entering is described as a person or people entering a home or other dwelling without prior permission.
Without having consent from the owner when you enter a building or home, is considered breaking and entering. This is not an act that needs to have violence for a charge. While breaking and entering usually is not aggressive, it can become aggressive.
Example of Breaking and Entering with Force
To better understand breaking and entering, we will look at an example. If someone would walk into another person’s house just by opening the door without permission from the homeowner, it could be considered forceful entry. This will be in almost every state. If you move something, such as a door, to gain entry, it could constitute as a forceful entry.
Keep in Mind About Breaking And Entering Charges
If a person enters the house with intent to commit a crime, this could include stealing, it is now considered a burglary charge. If you do not take anything, you are breaking and entering. Once you take something, you are committing burglary. Keep in mind that these charges are completely different. When you are charged with breaking and entering with no other charges, you will find yourself with a misdemeanor and possibly illegal trespassing.
However, if you are charged with breaking and entering, you may also be charged with burglary which can become a felony offense. You need to be careful and hire the proper defense attorney so that your breaking and entering does not get pushed to a burglary charge.
Charges and Penalties for Breaking and Entering
Each state may have different charges and sitting time for breaking and entering. However, we are going to talk about some of the common penalties and charges associated with breaking and entering. Keep in mind the judge may determine that it has been a felony burglary offense.
Remember: Your past criminal record will also help determine your charge. The more similar charges, the worse the punishment will be.
If you are charged with breaking and entering, you may be finding yourself facing one year behind bars. This is not going to be served in a prison, but the county jail. You may also face community service, a fine, restitution, and probation.
Not everyone will get probation. However, if you have a prior record, you may face probation and jail time. Every charge will be different. The charge will be up to a year behind bars and up to one thousand dollars’ worth of fines.
When Misdemeanor Turns Felony
If there is any type of burglary with breaking and entering, you may be facing a felony charge.
Remember: If there is aggression with breaking and entering, it could be considered a felony as well.
If there are any aggravating factors, it could be turned into a felony charge. These aggravating factors are what make the crime worse. Some factors where a breaking and entering could turn into a felony are:
- While you were breaking and entering, the property was severely damaged.
- You have stolen a large amount of goods or money.
- There was bodily injury or harm or even death while you were breaking and entering.
Defenses to Make
You may want to know how to protect yourself in court. There are a few defenses that you can try to help ensure that you are not sitting behind bars. A good defense attorney can help ensure that you are not facing a ton of time behind bars. Here are the two common defenses that are used in breaking and entering cases.
- The defendant made a mistake. This can be used if the person was under the influence, thought the home was theirs, or they had permission earlier to enter. Sometimes people will change their mind and assume it is breaking and entering.
- If you have gotten consent before entering and you can prove it, you can show this to the judge. This will often allow you to have your case dropped.
Wrapping Up: Is Breaking And Entering A Felony
When it comes to breaking and entering, it is best to hire a defense attorney. This will ensure that you are seeing everything and that you are properly taken care of. With an attorney, you will not have to worry about the process yourself.
Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney is one of best criminal defense attorneys in Louisiana. You can see his practice areas here to learn more about the types of cases he frequently represents.
You should now know a little more about your question – is breaking and entering a felony.