What is Breaking and Entering?
Breaking and Entering is a lesser included offense of the common law felony burglary. Breaking and Entering (B&E) is defined as the breaking and entering of a structure without permission of consent. Breaking describes gaining access to a structure by force. This may involve breaking and entering through a window, lifting up an unlocked window and entering inside, forcing a door open or ajar, opening and entering through an unlocked door without authority or permission, manipulating a locking mechanism, or unlocking a door with a key to which you have no authority or permission to possess. Entering describes crossing over a threshold, whether of a window sill, doorway or otherwise, necessary to gain access to the inside of the structure.
Breaking and entering may be committed on a variety of structures. The common law offense related to dwelling homes. It has been extended over time to now include a house, condominium, apartment, business, school, college, church or public land. Unlike the more serious offense of burglary, breaking and entering does not require the intent to commit a felony once inside the targeted structure. This crime may also be consummated at any time to include day and night without distinction.
There are various factors that can aggravate the severity of a breaking and entering to which courts and prosecutors may cite for increased punishments. These factors include the manner of Breaking and entering; extent of damage (or absence thereof) caused to Break and enter the structure; extent of damage caused to the interior and contents of the structure; possession of weapons by the offender(s); presence or absence of occupants in the structure at the time of the Breaking and Entering; actual use of weapons to inflict harm or fear to the occupant(s); injuries (or absence thereof) sustained by the occupant(s); nature and circumstances of the victim such as age, identity, health, and status; and actions of the offender(s) once inside the structure. Breaking and entering, like burglary, is the type of crime for which courts and prosecutors will want to punish offenders with a jail sentence. If you have been charged with Breaking and Entering, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.
§ 11-8-2 Unlawful breaking and entering of dwelling house – (a) Every person who shall break and enter at any time of the day or night any dwelling house or apartment, whether the dwelling house or apartment is occupied or not, or any outbuilding or garage attached to or adjoining any dwelling house, without the consent of the owner or tenant of the dwelling house, apartment, building, or garage, shall be imprisoned for not less than two (2) years and not more than ten (10) years for the first conviction, and for the second and subsequent conviction shall be imprisoned for not less than four (4) years and not more than fifteen (15) years, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.
— Rhode Island Criminal Offenses
Section 17: Entering without breaking at night; breaking and entering in day time – Whoever, in the night time, enters without breaking, or breaks and enters in the day time, a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle, with intent to commit a felony, the owner or any other person lawfully therein being put in fear, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years. Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 7 years or in the house of correction for not less than 2 years nor more than 21/2 years.
— The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws
If you have been implicated in a breaking and entering offense and need expert legal representation, contact the Rhode Island breaking and entering defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.