The Criminal Defense Law Center of
West Michigan

Breaking And Entering

Breaking And Entering Defense Attorneys
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Under Michigan law codified at (MCL 750.115) it is illegal for anyone to break into and enter a store, house or other building when the person does not have permission to do so from the owner. If a person enters or breaks into a structure and again does not have permission from the owner to do so and has the intent of committing a felony offense or larceny in the structure, that person can be charged with the more serious charge of burglary. Breaking and entering is a crime that is often tied to other types of offenses such as having burglar’s tools and home invasion. The last to charges are both felonies.

Anyone who has been charged with breaking and entering needs to hire a skillful criminal defense lawyer to help them get the best results possible.

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Elements of Breaking and Entering Offenses

A prosecutor typically has to prove the following elements in order to get a conviction for breaking and entering. A person charged with this crime does not have to actually break into the home in order to be charged with this offense. The prosecution does have to prove the following:

  1. The defendant entered without breaking into a building or broke into and entered; and
  2. The defendant was not given permission to enter by the owner or occupant.

MCL 750.115 does not apply to a situation where a person is entering, without breaking into a building open to the public. It would apply to a person who entered into a building if they had been told they were not welcome into the building. A person who is convicted of breaking and entering without any other criminal charges is guilty of a misdemeanor.

A West Michigan prosecutor will only have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged entered into the building without permission. So, if the defendant changes their mind and does not enter the building there is a good chance, they are not guilty of the offense. A person’s whole body does not need to be inside a structure in order to be charged with breaking and entering. For example, a person who breaks a window and has the intent to enter the building can be charged with this crime if only their hand goes through the window.

Types of Structures

In order to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for this crime, the prosecutor must prove that the accused entered into a structure without permission for the owner or occupant. So, structures are covered under this law? Any dwelling.

  • Hotel
  • House
  • Store
  • Office
  • Shop
  • Barn
  • Warehouse
  • Factory
  • Granary
  •  Ship
  •  Boat
  • Private apartment
  • Railroad car
  •  Cottage
  •  Clubhouse
  • Fishing or hunting lodge
  • Boat house
  •  Garage
  • Ice shanty with a value of $100 or more

This needs to be made crystal clear: A structure does not have to be occupied at the time a person breaks and enters in order to trigger criminal culpability.

Attorney Shawn James Haff and his fellow lawyers at The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan know that when you are facing criminal charges in Michigan, either a felony or misdemeanor, you need to hire a lawyer that knows how to get their clients outstanding results! A criminal conviction for breaking and entering will be looked at in a very negative light if you are looking for work. Shawn knows how to get his clients diversion programs that give people a chance to keep a criminal conviction off his clients’ record.

While a lot of breaking and entering charges deal with someone breaking a window or a door, there are other charges of breaking and entering that are not so obvious to the general public. There are some people who think they have permission to enter a person’s house. However, the homeowner says you do not and then suddenly a person is facing home invasion or a breaking and entering charge. A typical example of this happening is where a person is invited to a house for a party and then gets into a fight. Suddenly, the homeowner says you weren’t invited to the home.

Another instance of a person getting hit with a home invasion charge or breaking and entering charge and not expecting it is when they accidentally enter into the wrong building. Typically, these people are drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Shawn’s Approach to Breaking and Entering Charges

Every single one of these cases is unique. Shawn and his fellow lawyers will help you understand the issues surrounding your criminal charges. We will guide you through the process and let you know what to expect every single step of the way. We will help you alleviate all of the stress and anxiety you are facing from this serious criminal charge. Call Shawn now at 616-438-6719 to get a free case evaluation! The call is totally free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! Do not wait to call. Waiting can only hurt your case and get you into more trouble. Call now!

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