Breaking and Entering Charges
If you have been accused of breaking and entering, then this can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, which in turn can result in penalties such as incarceration, fines, probation, and challenges in advancing your education or career. You should always take breaking and entering charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, seriously and vigorously defend yourself in court. When you have been charged with a breaking and entering offense, the most important thing you can for yourself is call an experienced criminal defense lawyer to immediately mount a defense.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we are here to uphold your constitutional rights as you face theft charges within the criminal justice system. We have more than 25 years of combined legal experience, and we want to put our knowledge, experience, and skills to use for you. We will gather as much evidence as we can and use it to develop the strongest defense possible, on your behalf.
To schedule a free and confidential case consultation, contact Randall & Stump, PLLC at , or reach out via our online form.
Breaking and Entering into a Motor Vehicle in North Carolina
If you allegedly broke into a vehicle, railroad car, trailer, aircraft, or boat that contained something of value, you can face criminal charges in North Carolina. Under NCGS §14-56, if you broke into one of these types of motor vehicles with the intent to commit any felony or larceny, and that vehicle contained any item of value, then you may face Class I Felony charges.
Breaking and Entering in North Carolina
North Carolina has multiple statutes prohibiting breaking and entering into various types of structures:
- Breaking out of dwelling house burglary (North Carolina General Statute [NCGS] §14-53) – If you enter into someone’s home with the intent to commit larceny or any felony, or you begin in the house, commit larceny or a felony, and then break out of the dwelling in the night, then you can be charged with a class D felony.
- Breaking or entering a place of religious worship (NCGS §14-54.1) – North Carolina law specifically protects places of worship. If you break and enter into a building that is a church, chapel, temple, synagogue, longhouse, mosque, or any other building regularly used and identifiable as a place of worship with the intent to commit a felony or larceny, then you can be charged with a class G felony.
- Breaking or entering buildings (NCGS §14-54) – If you break into any building the intent to commit any felony or larceny, or to terrorize or injure someone inside, then you can be charged with a Class H Felony. If you break into and enter any building wrongfully or by mistake, you can face charges for a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This includes any dwelling, an uninhabited house, a building under construction, or any other structure designed to secure any activity or property inside it.
Elements of breaking and entering in North Carolina depend on the specific statute you are accused of violating. However, each statute requires that you entered a premise without permission. Breaking and entering charges may include physically overcoming the structure’s security measures. You may be accused of breaking a window or picking a lock. Breaking and entering can even include opening a door that is already cracked open. Physically breaking or overcoming something on a structure to gain entrance is not necessary. You can face a breaking and entering charge if you enter another person’s, or municipality’s property without explicit or implied consent.
Charges for misdemeanor breaking and entering in North Carolina occur when there is no evidence you intended to commit any crime within the premises. For example, maybe you intended to break into a neighbor’s house while they were on vacation and use their pool. You may also face misdemeanor charges when there is evidence you intended to commit a misdemeanor offense other than larceny. For instance, willful or wanton damage to another person’s personal property is a misdemeanor.
However, many prosecutors seek to prove you committed or intended to commit a larceny after breaking and entering in North Carolina, because in their minds, there are only a few other reasons why you would have broken into and entered the home or building in question. Under these circumstances, they will push for felony breaking and entering charges. Regardless of your situation, the best thing to do is hire an experienced attorney to defend you in court.
Punishment for Breaking and Entering
The statutory punishment you face for breaking and entering depends on the level of the charge against you, and your criminal record. Your punishment may be classified as active, intermediate, or community, depending on the specific details of your case.
For felony charges in North Carolina, the range for incarceration, should the judge order an active sentence, are:
- Class A Felony – Life imprisonment without parole, or death
- Class B1 Felony – Between 144 months in prison and Life without Parole
- Class B2 Felony – Between 94 and 393 months in prison
- Class C Felony – Between 44 and 182 months’ imprisonment
- Class D Felony – Between 38 months, and up to 160 months in prison
- Class E Felony – A minimum of 15 months, and a maximum of 63 months in prison
- Class F Felony – Between 10 and 41 months imprisonment
- Class G Felony – A minimum of 8 months, and a maximum of 31 months’ imprisonment
- Class H Felony – Between four and 25 months in prison
- Class I Felony – Between three and 12 months’ imprisonment
Active sentences for misdemeanors in North Carolina include:
- Class A1 Misdemeanor – Up to 150 days in jail
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to 120 days in jail
- Class 2 Misdemeanor – Up to 60 days in jail
- Class 3 Misdemeanor – Up to 20 days in jail
If you have questions regarding the potential term of incarceration you face for breaking and entering charges that end in conviction, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC. If this is your first criminal offense, an experienced lawyer can fight for you to receive a sentence with the minimum duration of imprisonment.
Additional Breaking and Entering Consequences
If you are convicted of breaking and entering, you can expect to face collateral penalties in addition to possibly serving an active sentence in either jail or prison. If you damaged another person’s property, you might be required to pay restitution. Other potential penalties include probation, community service, house arrest, fines, or electronic/GPS monitoring.
With a breaking and entering conviction on your record, you could have difficulties finding and maintaining a job. If you wish to continue your education, you may face trouble with college admissions and financial aid. You could have difficulty finding rental housing or loans to purchase a home. As a parent, you may face child custody issues. If you are convicted of felony breaking & entering, you lose the right to own or possess a firearm.
The statutory and collateral consequences of convictions are harsh. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from Randall & Stump, PLLC is here to fight to exonerate you in court, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Breaking and Entering Charges for Juveniles
If your teenage son or daughter is arrested for breaking and entering in North Carolina, they may enter into the state’s juvenile justice system or the adult justice system. In the juvenile system, a court counselor may recommend a diversion program. This is likely if your child does not have a record of criminal or delinquent activity, or if no other serious crime was committed. However, your child could also be taken into custody, and a court counselor can recommend that a prosecutor file a complaint. If your child is prosecuted through the adult justice system, they are subject to the same consequences and punishments as everyone else above the age of 18.