Breaking and Entering with the Intent to Commit a Misdemeanor
Brockton Misdemeanor Crimes Defense Attorneys, Serving Plymouth, Norfolk and Bristol County
In the state of Massachusetts, breaking and entering is defined as entering any type of location (a home, an office building, or even a car) without permission and with the intent of committing a crime. Breaking and Entering with the Intent to commit a Misdemeanor is a crime governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 § 16A.
In order to obtain a conviction for Breaking and Entering with the Intent to Commit a Misdemeanor in Massachusetts the prosecutor has to establish:
- That the defendant broke into another person’s home or building;
- The defendant then entered that home or building;
- The defendant entered with the intention or committing a misdemeanor;
Penalties For A Conviction
It does not matter whether the above events took place during the daytime or nighttime, anyone found guilty of breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor faces a fine up to $200 or by imprisonment of up to six months, or both.
What is “Breaking?”
In order to be charged with breaking and entering, it is not necessary to physically break into a house or building. However, something more than merely the act of trespassing is required — crossing over a land boundary and one somebody else’s property is not sufficient legal grounds to constitute “breaking.” On the other hand, “breaking” doesn’t require actual property damage either. All that the prosecution has to show is that defendant opened some portion of the building in order to gain entry into the building. Sliding open a widow or door left carelessly unlocked is enough to subject yourself to prosecution.
The prosecution doesn’t have to show that the defendant was the one that actually physically moved a portion of the building (door, window) in order to gain entry. If the defendant arranged to have an accomplice in the building let him/her in then the prosecution can establish the breaking element.
What is “Entering?”
In order to prove the defendant actually entered the building the prosecution has to show that the defendant intruded or crossed into some portion of the building. You can be charged with breaking and entering even if you did not completely enter the building. For example, the prosecution can show “entry” occurred if he/she can prove the defendant simply reached through a window in order to grab a purse sitting on a kitchen counter.
Entry can also be shown where the defendant inserts a tool or instrument into the building to commit a crime inside the building even if a portion of the defendant body never crosses into the building. If the defendant sticks a broom hand through a window in order the steal a purse resting on the back of a kitchen chair then the defendant can be found to have used the tool to commit a crime (larceny) inside the building. However, if the instrument is used to commit the break-in (like when a throwing a brick through a window in order to gain entry) and accidentally crosses into the building then entry wont be found. That is because the brick in this scenario was used to break into the building and not to commit a crime within the building. If the defendant threw a brick through a window in order hit a person inside the building then entry would likely be found because the defendant in this case was using the break to commit a crime within the building (assault and battery in this case) in addition the breaking into the building. So it all depends on what the tool or instrument was used for. If the tool was used to break-in then the prosecutor can prove entry. On the other hand if the tool or instrument was used to commit a crime within the building (using the broom to steal the purse) then entry will have occurred.
Charged With Breaking And Entering With The Intent To Commit A Misdemeanor? Our Misdemeanor Crimes Defense Attorneys Can Help.
If you have been charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor you could be fined up to $200, or be sentenced to prison for up to 6 months, or both. You need an experienced lawyer who will work hard to aggressively defend you against the charges and ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call the Plymouth County Breaking and Entering Attorneys at the law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.