Breaking & Entering: Definition by Worcester Criminal Defense Lawyer

Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime

There are various locations that the crime of breaking and entering in the nighttime can be committed in Massachusetts, according to Worcester criminal defense lawyer Shane W. Surrette. Some of these locations include buildings, houses, vehicles, boats and other vessels, just to name a few.  The essential elements include breaking, which is more than just smashing a door to enter a residence. Breaking also covers opening an unlocked door, going through an open window not intended as an entrance, as well as removing a screen to enter a building.

Additionally, there has to be an entry. This is accomplished by physically entering a  building. Similarly, an entry can be accomplished by controlling an item that goes inside the structure, even if you don’t personally enter. For example, opening a car door, and using a stick to sift around the interior is sufficient to cover the elements of breaking and entering.

The third element, which is the most significant under Massachusetts law, is the intent that is alleged. If the allegation is a breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor therein, than the crime is a misdemeanor. If however, the intent is to commit a felony, than the charge is a felony.

In the absence of an expressed intent to commit a particular crime in either a complaint or indictment, the jury may infer that there is an intent to commit a larceny therein. The final element is that the breaking and entering has to occur in the nighttime. Nighttime under Mass. law is defined as one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

To read more about the recent local break-ins, click the following link:

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