Breaking and Entering: A Crime of Many Faces
Breaking and entering is a term that is often used to describe a type of burglary, but it can also refer to other crimes involving unauthorized entry into a building or property. Depending on the circumstances, breaking and entering can be a misdemeanor or a felony, and it can carry serious penalties for the offenders.
In this article, we will explore the different meanings and consequences of breaking and entering, as well as some examples of cases involving this crime.
What is Breaking and Entering?
Breaking and entering is defined as the entering of a building through force without authorization. The slightest force, including pushing open a door, is all that is necessary. Breaking also includes entering a building through fraud, threats, or collusion.
However, breaking and entering is not always synonymous with burglary. Burglary is a more specific crime that involves breaking and entering into a dwelling (a place where someone lives) at night with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside. Therefore, not all cases of breaking and entering are burglaries, but all burglaries involve breaking and entering.
For example, if someone breaks into a store during the day and steals some merchandise, they have committed breaking and entering and theft, but not burglary. On the other hand, if someone breaks into a house at night and assaults the owner, they have committed both breaking and entering and burglary.
What are the Penalties for Breaking and Entering?
The penalties for breaking and entering vary depending on the state laws, the type of building or property involved, the presence of any victims or witnesses, and the intent of the offender. Generally speaking, breaking and entering is considered to be a misdemeanor if it does not involve a dwelling or a felony intent. However, breaking and entering can be elevated to a felony if it involves any of the following factors:
- The offender uses or threatens to use violence or weapons
- The offender injures or endangers anyone inside or outside the building
- The offender has a prior conviction for breaking and entering or burglary
- The building is a dwelling, a school, a church, or a government facility
- The offender intends to commit a felony or theft inside the building
The possible punishments for breaking and entering can range from fines, probation, community service, restitution, to jail or prison time. The severity of the sentence depends on the circumstances of each case and the discretion of the judge.
What are Some Examples of Breaking and Entering Cases?
Breaking and entering is a common crime that can occur in various situations. Here are some examples of real cases involving breaking and entering:
- In 2006, Jude Law starred in a movie called Breaking and Entering, which was about a landscape architect who has an affair with a seamstress whose son breaks into his office . The movie was written and directed by Anthony Minghella, who also worked with Law in Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley.
- In 2019, two men were arrested for breaking and entering into an animal shelter in Ohio. They claimed that they were trying to rescue dogs from euthanasia, but they also stole some items from the shelter. They were charged with felony breaking and entering, theft, vandalism, and criminal trespassing.
- In 2020, four people were charged with breaking and entering into an Airbnb rental in Michigan. They were caught on camera by the owner who was watching remotely. They allegedly used fake names to book the rental and then invited more people over for a party. They were accused of causing over $50,000 worth of damage to the property.
Breaking and entering is a crime that involves unauthorized entry into a building or property through force or deception. It can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on various factors such as the type of building, the intent of the offender, and the harm caused to anyone or anything inside or outside. Breaking and entering can result in serious