Breaking and entering defenses can sometimes present some unique legal challenges. Breaking and entering is a type of crime that involves the unlawful entry into a building or residence. Some jurisdictions require the use of physical force in entering the building, such as breaking a window or pushing open a door. Some jurisdictions may also include the use of deception or fraud in entering a building as breaking and entering.

In many states, breaking and entering is a key component of burglary. Burglary is often defined as breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony while on the property or in a vehicle.

Are There Any Breaking and Entering Defenses?

As in any criminal case, legal defenses may be available to the criminal defendant, depending on the facts surrounding the case. Some breaking and entering defenses can include:

  • Consent: If the owner of the premises consented to the defendant’s presence on the property, it might serve as a defense
  • Mistake: The defendant needs to intend to break into the dwelling place of another. It may be a defense if they believed that they were entering their own property
  • Authorized to Enter: Similarly, if a person grants authority to the defendant, it might serve as a defense against criminal charges. On the other hand, the liability may shift to a different party (such as a security guard or front desk operator)

Thus, breaking and entering defenses will definitely depend on the facts involved in each individual case.

What Are Some Legal Consequences of Breaking and Entering?

Breaking and entering is usually classified as a misdemeanor crime. This will result in consequences such as some jail time as well as criminal fees. If major property damage is involved, the defendant may be required to pay criminal restitution in order to pay for the damage. More serious cases may result in felony charges (for instance, if violence or severe property damage was a factor).

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Breaking and Entering Defenses?

Breaking and entering can be a complex legal case to deal with. You may need to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you need assistance with breaking and entering defenses. Your attorney can help you identify whether any defenses will be applicable to your situation. Also, your lawyer can be on hand during trial to represent you during any court hearings and proceedings.