Misdemeanor Breaking and Entering

Breaking and Entering There are different types of B & E charges in North Carolina. Some are deemed a misdemeanor charge under the NC criminal laws. Other allegations may result in prosecution as a felony.

“B&E” as some may call it or “breaking and entering” does not require both breaking and entering in North Carolina. In fact, the criminal law as written by the General Assembly refers to defense as breaking OR entering.

Furthermore, breaking something like a window or door lock is not required for a conviction.

If you stand accused of either felony or misdemeanor breaking or entering, we recommend you speak with legal counsel immediately.

Take the 5th. Lawyer Up. Exercise your right to remain silent and right to consult with an attorney before giving a statement. Be polite in doing so.

What is “Breaking and Entering?”

Misdemeanor breaking and entering under North Carolina General Statute 14-54(b) occurs when a person:

  1. breaks OR
  2. enters
  3. without consent
  4. any building

The main difference between misdemeanor and felony breaking and entering is that felony breaking and entering requires a person to have the intent to commit a felony or larceny when breaking or entering.

Misdemeanor breaking and entering is a class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum punishment under the law of 120 days incarceration and a discretionary fine not limited by statute.

Can I Go to Jail for Breaking and Entering Charges in NC?

A period of incarceration, either in the local county jail, or in prison in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections, is possible for certain misdemeanor and felony breaking and entering charges.

A lot depends on your prior record level, the type of charges (felony vs misdemeanor) and history of convictions, if any.

For example, misdemeanor breaking or entering authorizes a “community punishment” if the offender is categorized as a prior record level 1.

Prior record level offenders 2 and 3 may be subject to three different levels of punishment, including a community punishment, an intermediate punishment, and if appropriate, an active term or period of incarceration.

Misdemeanor sentencing in North Carolina is relatively complicated. In fact, while very similar to felony sentencing, there are important differences and distinctions. Consult with an experienced criminal lawyer if you face charges in Cumberland County or Hoke County, North Carolina.

Do I Get a Jury Trial for Criminal Charges in NC?

Felony sentencing in North Carolina recognizes Prior Record Levels I through VI. Criminal defense attorneys in Fayetteville, Cumberland County NC, and Hoke County may refer to that as the “PRL.” It stands for Prior Record Level.

If you have questions about the type of charges you face, the possibility of jail or prison, or wish to know more about sentencing under the NC criminal laws, please call our firm.

What Should I Expect When I Call Your Law Firm?

First and foremost, when you call our law firm to discuss your matter with the criminal defense lawyer, we do not charge for legal consultations. As such, it's OK to give us a ring and ask some basic questions about your charges and what may happen in court.

It's also important to understand that what you tell us, including to both our attorneys and legal support staff, is secret. Defense lawyers may refer to that as something being confidential or subject to the attorney-client privilege.

The laws in North Carolina authorize people to speak with their lawyer in candor, telling the truth about both the good and bad aspects of the case. In fact, it's actively encouraged.

"The attorney-client privilege exists to help lawyers provide the best legal advice and guidance possible, with the purpose of helping the person accused of criminal charges to make good decisions."

- David Curry, Hoke County Criminal Lawyer

If helps to have your paperwork handy when you speak with a defense attorney. As such, bring a copy of the charging citation, Warrant for Arrest, Release Order, and Search Warrant.

Information About Property Crimes

Not every case results in an arrest and going to jail. Some misdemeanor charges are instituted by something called a Criminal Summons.

Don’t worry, if you lost your paperwork, that’s OK. We can ordinarily get copies of the originals from the Clerk of Court.

The reason we like to review the paperwork is to be able to determine the allegations against you. For example, a criminal summons or Warrant for Arrest will often set forth what the allegations are. It may have language such as, “The defendant did knowingly and intentionally break into the building located at 1234 Main Street, Anywhere, North Carolina.”

In addition to providing the date of the alleged criminal offense, your defense lawyer can determine your case number and whether the allegations are a felony or misdemeanor.

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