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Breaking and Entering with Intent

Breaking or Breaking and Entering (B & E) involving theft or assault are treated very seriously in Michigan Courts. Respecting the property of others, and the notion that a person's home is their castle, are rules that are ingrained in our judiciary and society. Common offenses in Michigan related to Breaking or Breaking and Entry include the following: Breaking and Entry of a Building with Intent to Commit a Larceny or Felony is a 10 year maximum felony offense in the State of Michigan. To prove the offense of Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent to Commit a Larceny or Felony the Prosecution must prove that first, the Defendant broke into a building. Breaking requires some force, such as raising a window, taking off a screen, or opening a door. Entering a building through an already open door or window without using any force is not breaking. Second, the Defendant entered the building. Any part of the Defendant's body - a hand, foot, leg, etc. - is enough to count as an entry. It is like football in a sense - you only have to break the plane in order to enter the building. A footstep on the floor inside the building is not necessary. Third, when the Defendant broke and entered the building, he or she intended to commit a felony or commit a larceny. A lesser offense isEntry without Breaking with Intent to Commit a Felony or Larceny is a 5 year felony offense. Another common offense in Michigan concerning theft from a building is Larceny from a Building, which is a 4 year maximum felony. When a larceny from a building involves merchandise from a store that is open from the public at the time the offense becomes Retail Fraud. Retail Fraud can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the amount of the alleged theft, and the prior record of the Defendant. Other offenses involving breaking and entry include: Breaking and Entering a Vehicle with Intent to Steal over $20,000 or with Priors (a 10 year maximum felony); Breaking and Entering a Vehicle with Intent to Steal from $1,000 to $20,000 or with Priors (a 5 year maximum felony); Breaking and Entering a Vehicle with Damage (a 5 year maximum felony); Breaking and Entry a Pay Telephone (a 4 year maximum felony); Breaking and Entering a Coin Operated Device (a 3 year maximum felony); Breaking and Entry a Coin or Depository Box (a 6 month maximum misdemeanor);Breaking and Entering a Showcase or Outside Enclosed Counte r (a 6 month maximum misdemeanor); Possession of Burglar's Tools (a 10 year maximum felony); and Safe Breaking (a life maximum felony offense). When the Breaking and Entry involves a Home, the offense is sometimes categorized as a Home Invasion. Home Invasion in Michigan is basically breaking and entering concerning the home of another individual without permission, with the intent to commit a larceny, a felony, or in violation of a protective order. There are 3 different degrees of Home Invasion in Michigan, the most serious being First Degree Home Invasion: First Degree Home Invasion is a felony in Michigan which carries possible incarceration of up to 20 years in prison, a possible fine of up to $5,000 (five thousand dollars), or both. A person who breaks and enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling without permission, and at any time while he or she is entering, present it, or exiting the dwelling commits a felony, larceny, or assault can be charged with Home Invasion in the First Degree if at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling either of the following exists: (a) the person is armed with a deadly weapon (b) Another person is lawfully present in the dwelling. Second Degree Home Invasion is a felony in Michigan which carries possible incarceration of up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $3,000 (three thousand dollars), or both. A person who breaks and enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling without permission, and at any time while he or she is entering, present it, or exiting the dwelling commits a felony, larceny, or assault can be charged with Home Invasion in the Second Degree. Home Invasion Second Degree does not involve the use of a deadly weapon. Also, Home Invasion Second Degree involves an unoccupied dwelling at the time of the unauthorized entry, presence, or exit. Third Degree Home Invasion is a felony which carries possible incarceration of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000 (two thousand dollars), or both. A person who breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a misdemeanor in the dwelling, enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a misdemeanor in the dwelling, or breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission, and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a misdemeanor can be charged with Home Invasion in the Third Degree. A person who breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, violates a protection order (such as a probation term or condition, a parole term or condition, a personal protection order term or condition, OR a bond, bail or pretrial release term or condition) that protects a named person or persons can also be charged with Home Invasion in the Third Degree. For Home Invasion, it does not matter that the breaking and entering was only limited to the garage as long as the garage was attached to the house. If the garage is not attached, the allegation is prosecuted as a breaking and entering offense. Also, a person who aids and abets in the commission of a Breaking, Breaking and Entry, or Home Invasion by being a "driver" or "look out" is just as responsible as the person who entered the building or home under Michigan law. Illegal Entry (Entry Without Permission) is either a 1 year misdemeanor offense, or a 93 day misdemeanor depending upon how it is written. This offense is sometimes committed by squatters living in vacant homes or buildings, trespassers, or ex girlfriends or boyfriends returning to a home where they are not welcome. To prove this offense beyond a reasonable doubt the Prosecution must establish first that the Defendant entered a building, home, tent, hotel, store, shop, dwelling, warehouse, barn, granary, factory, ship, boat, railroad car, cottage, clubhouse, boathouse, hunting or fishing lodge, garage, out building, or ice shanty with a value of $100 or more. Again, any part of the Defendant's body is sufficient to constitute entry. Second, the Defendant did this without first getting permission to enter from someone who had authority to give permission. It does not matter if it was occupied or unoccupied to commit this offense. Breaking and Entry and Home Invasion cases in Michigan, carry the potential of incarceration for even a first time offender. If such an allegation is made against you it is recommended that you first exercise your right to remain silent and second hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest for the following reasons: 1. You have a better chance of receiving a reasonable bail or bond through effective legal representation; 2. The lawyer can prepare the case for preliminary examination to work for possible dismissal, lay the groundwork for possible motions, develop testimony to impeach witnesses, and develop defenses for trial. 3. If you want to fight the case at trial, the potential defenses to Breaking and Entry and Home Invasion include but are not limited to reasonable doubt, mistaken identity, alibi, and authority to be on the property. You need a skilled criminal defense attorney to prepare and conduct the trial to give you the best chance of winning. Mistakes are sometimes made concerning these cases by law enforcement due to old fingerprints being found at the scene, faulty identification, and sloppy police work. 4. If you plan to plead guilty, the Defense lawyer can work to achieve the best result through possible plea bargains, possible Cobbs agreements, persuasive lawyering, proper scoring of the Michigan Sentence Guidelines, successful arguments concerning possible sentencing options such as HYTA - Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, SAI Bootcamp, drug and alcohol treatment. Every case is different, and whether or not the factors in this paragraph apply depends upon your history, the facts of the allegation, the Prosecutor's office, and the Judge assigned to the case. Sometimes in life you only have 1 opportunity to receive the right result. Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC – only professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right

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