Breaking and Entering Lawyer in Lansing
Seen as a gross violation of an individual’s privacy and liberty, breaking and entering into a residential or commercial building in Lansing is a severe charge. The Michigan legal system takes accusations like this very seriously and will prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law. However, sometimes innocent people are caught up in the state’s search for justice. Breaking and entering laws can be tricky to understand and require a knowledgeable theft defense attorney who can help clear your name and get any misplaced charges against you dropped.
Breaking and entering charges have definitions that can be wobbled one way or another, but to secure these accusations, a prosecutor must prove several key details to make a believable breaking and entering case. If you are being investigated or have been arrested for breaking and entering, read on to find out what you need to know.
Definition of Breaking and Entering
In the state of Michigan, breaking and entering implies that you willfully entered a private residence, without permission, in a violent or intrusive manner. In the classic sense, this can include kicking down a door or breaking a window to enter. Did you know that these are not the only actions that can fall under breaking and entering?
Opening a partially closed door and entering can be considered by the court for these charges. Similarly, opening a partially closed window or climbing a fence can be counted as well. Your physical presence is not even required in the matter. If you placed an item on someone else’s property, it can be taken as breaking and entering. The laws are open to interpretation to catch the real bad guys, but sometimes unjust charges are laid against people who do not deserve them.
For the prosecution’s case to work, they must prove the “breaking” part of breaking and entering. Usually, if you have been accused, it is very likely the prosecutor has hard evidence placing you at the scene of entry. What may not be clear are your intentions on said property or how you entered. That is where the above definitions become very important.
One action that can solidify their case is if a crime was committed while you were on said property. Misdemeanors, larceny, felonies, anything that falls under criminal charges can increase the severity of the charges in front of you.
Punishment for Breaking and Entering
If you are convicted of breaking and entering, the court will also determine what degree of crime you are charged with. Breaking and entering charges will fall into one of three degrees, increasing in severity from third to first.
Third degree breaking and entering assumes that, as you entered, during your entry, or in the act of leaving the dwelling, you committed a misdemeanor. If convicted, you can face up to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines.
Second degree charges assert that while breaking and entering, you committed a felony. The prosecution will need to prove a bit more to get this charge, but the punishment increases as well. You can be sentenced to 10 years in prison with up to $3,000 in fine.
First degree breaking and entering is a dangerously easy charge to face, because it can be placed if there was someone present in the dwelling you entered. This is the most serious of the charges you can face and can put you in prison for up to 15 years.
Fighting Breaking and Entering Charges
Just as the accusations can be adapted to help the prosecution, our attorneys know how to get your charges lessened based on precedents in court. There have breaking and entering charges on just about every premise you can imagine, and some of them have resulted in lenient sentencing for those facing these charges.
If you were intoxicated at the time of your supposed crime, there is a good chance to use that as a defense. Since breaking and entering is all about what your intent was, if you were not fully in control of your actions at the time it makes it very difficult for the prosecution to prove willful desire on your part. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) will often be considered by courts when evaluating your charges.
Another lesser charge is Entry without Owner’s Permission, also known as trespassing. The breaking part of breaking and entering assumes that you damaged or disabled something during the crime. However, what if you merely walked through an open door? If this is the case, there is no cause for a breaking to be entered into the accusations. This is a misdemeanor with up to one year in prison as a punishment. There are other examples, but the point is that the burden of proof is on the prosecutor to prove that had the intent to commit a crime. That is why if you are arrested for breaking and entering, you should not answer the police’s questions. You should politely decline until you have a chance to speak with your attorney.
Contact Grabel & Associates
You need a skilled attorney who understands the law and can defend your reputation in court. The attorneys of Grabel & Associates have been defending the rights of Lansing citizens and the Michigan area for 10 years. Between our veteran attorneys, we have over 100 years of law practice amongst us. Call us now at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us through our website. Our line is open 24/7. Our case analysts are standing by to help begin building your defense.