Breaking and Entering

Breaking and entering, otherwise known as burglary, housebreaking, or breaking or entering is a property crime that involves a forcible or unlawful entry into a residence or non-residence such as a business or other building or structure either during the day or the night with the intent to commit a felony or misdemeanor crime. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009 there were over 715,700 total burglaries in the United States, resulting in property losses in the millions of dollars to homeowners and businesses. For Massachusetts, the U.S. Census Bureau also documented 524.1 total burglaries per each 100,000 in population.

Massachusetts property crimes such as breaking and entering pose serious criminal consequences for those defendants caught and prosecuted by law enforcement. An individual accused in Massachusetts of breaking and entering in the night time with the intent to commit a felony will face aggressive prosecution and harsh sentencing from the court. A skilled Massachusetts burglary crimes attorney will be needed to provide a solid legal defense strategy to overcome a breaking and entering allegation. In Massachusetts the breaking and entering statute can be found in M.G.L. c. 266 §16. The crime is classified as a concurrent felony, meaning a case can be tried either in the district or superior court. If a breaking and entering in the night charge stays in the district court because there is no indictment sought or obtained, the maximum penalty that could be imposed is a house of correction sentence of not more than 2 ½ years. If the case is indicted in the Superior Court, a defendant convicted could face up to 20 years in the state prison.

Breaking and Entering in the Night Time with Intent to Commit a Felony

The four elements of the crime that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt for this crime include the following:

  1. That the defendant broke into a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle belonging to another person;
  2. That the defendant entered the building, ship, vessel, or vehicle;
  3. That the defendant entered with the intent to commit a felony in the building, ship, vessel or vehicle; and
  4. That the breaking and entering took place during the nighttime.

In Massachusetts, the courts have defined breaking as exerting physical force, even slight physical force, and thereby forcibly removing an obstruction and gaining entry. Examples include breaking a window, or forcing open a door or window, or removing a plank from a wall. Other less obvious examples that constitute a “breaking” under our law include opening a closed door or window even if they are unlocked. Also, going through an open window that is not intended for use as an entrance is also considered a breaking, but going in through an unobstructed entrance, like an open door, is not.

Boston, Massachusetts Breaking and Entering/Burglary Crimes Lawyer

The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy provides comprehensive criminal defense to all property crimes including but not limited to breaking and entering in the night time with the intent to commit a felony or misdemeanor crime. As indicated, the prosecution of these crimes is taken very seriously and your criminal defense choice must seriously consider a Massachusetts criminal defense law firm that aggressively defends all property crime allegations with a serious skill and determination. If you have been charged with a breaking and entering crime, contact Attorney Murphy now to get a free and absolutely confidential legal consultation with him regarding your case by dialing (617) 367-0450 or by emailing Attorney Murphy directly by completing the email contacts tab on the website. Don’t leave your legal representation to chance; speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer now.

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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User