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Breaking and Entering

Michigan Breaking and Entering Defense Attorney Serving Clients in the Grand Rapids Area

Burglar breaking and entering before he gets caught and must call a grand rapids defense lawyerMichigan law (MCL 750.115) makes it illegal for anyone to break and enter into a house, store, or another building without obtaining permission from the owner. If you break and enter into a structure without the permission of the owner and with the intent of committing larceny or a felony offense, then you can be charged with a more serious crime of burglary. The crime of breaking and entering can be tied to numerous other offenses, such as possession of burglar’s tools or home invasion, which are felony offenses.

If you have been accused of breaking and entering, a Grand Rapids breaking and entering defense lawyer can assist with your case.

Elements of Breaking and Entering Offenses in Grand Rapids, MI

When a person is charged with breaking and entering, or “entering without breaking”—breaking into the home need not be an element of the offense—the prosecution typically will need to prove the following:

  • Defendant broke and entered the building or entered without breaking; and
  • Defendant did not have the permission of the owner or occupant.

The statute, of course, does not apply to entering without breaking into a place that is open to the public unless the defendant has been expressly denied entry. If the defendant is found guilty of breaking and entering without any subsequent charges, she or he will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor will need to prove that the defendant actually entered the building in order to be guilty of the offense. This means that, if you change your mind and decide not to enter the building, then you may not be guilty of the offense. Simply thinking about breaking and then entering, or entering without breaking, does not meet the requirements for this criminal offense. However, your entire body does not need to enter into the structure. For instance, if you break a window and your hand goes through the window, or if you throw a rock through a window, that may be sufficient to show breaking and entering.

Types of Structures Covered By Michigan’s Breaking and Entering Statute

To be guilty of breaking and entering in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you must break and enter, or enter without breaking, into one of the following structures that are used or kept for public or private use:

  • Any dwelling;
  • House;
  • Tent;
  • Hotel;
  • Office;
  • Store;
  • Shop;
  • Warehouse;
  • Barn;
  • Granary;
  • Factory;
  • Other building;
  • Boat;
  • Ship;
  • Railroad car;
  • Private apartment;
  • Cottage;
  • Clubhouse;
  • Boat house;
  • Hunting or fishing lodge;
  • Garage or other related outbuildings;
  • Ice shanty with a value of $100 or more; or
  • Any other structure, whether occupied or unoccupied.

To be clear, it does not matter if a structure is unoccupied at the time of breaking and entering. If you break and enter, or enter without breaking, and you do not have permission from the owner, then you can be charged with this offense.

Contact a Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are charged with a crime in Michigan, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony offense, you can face serious consequences including a term of imprisonment. If you are convicted and serve a prison sentence, it is important to understand that the criminal conviction remains on your record and can prevent you from living the life you led before you were arrested. For instance, a criminal record can prevent you from obtaining certain types of loans or from obtaining certain types of employment. A Michigan breaking and entering defense attorney can discuss defense options with you and can get started on your case. Contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office today for more information.