Our neighbors down the street threw a party that went until the late hours of the morning. Around midnight I was still up and since I was the front door was unlocked. We have several cars in our driveway that we own and cars were parked in front of our house because of all of the guests. Around midnight two guests who were supposed to be at the party walked into my house at random without knocking or giving any indication they were going to do so. They both stepped inside and walked about ten feet from the doorway and into our kitchen before walking out and going to the party. Could this be considered breaking and entering since they entered my home without permission even if it was an accident and the door was left unlocked? We had no idea anyone would randomly walk in like that.
** For further clarification, after entering the home the two young people did realize and acknowledge they were in the wrong house , but it was frightening not to mention incredibly rude of them not to knock and at least make sure they were in the right house.
There is something in the law called "mens rea" which loosely means criminal intent. This act was obviously a mistake so I doubt that any charges would be filed. My question, did you call the police at the time? If not, the point is moot. As for any civil liabilities these interlopers owe to you, there must be damages. Did you suffer any monetary damages because of their trespass? It's time to lock your doors when you are in the house for the night.
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Could charges be filed? Yes. The state can file charges for almost anything. I have seen similar situations charged as Trespassing and investigated as Burglary. This is a bit of a stretch since clearly it was an accident. I understand that you were alarmed but I would recommend not filing charges. Ask yourself is this something you would want to see someone have a criminal record for? Plus after this period of time would you know who they were or be able to find them. That is my recommendation.
Attorney Chris Beck
Beck Law Office, L.L.C.
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