The crime of breaking into a house has a long history in American law. Even the drafters of the 18th Amendment argued that the crime was so ingrained in the common law that it could not be abolished. Today, burglaries remain an important part of our legal system, and you could be facing legal repercussions if you are found guilty of breaking into someone’s house.
Common ways to break into a house
Home intruders can find a number of ways to break into a house, and most of them will use a combination of techniques. They look for a home that looks unoccupied – a full mailbox, unkempt yard, and car parked in the driveway are all telltale signs of a home that is vacant. They may also pose as a maintenance worker and ring the doorbell to see if the homeowner answers.
Burglars will often try to gain entry through an unlocked door or window. However, in some cases, a burglar will simply kick the door open. Once inside, burglars will look for valuables such as electronics, cash, credit cards, and guns. In fact, burglars will target a house with an NRA sticker on the bumper as a sign of an easy target. Once inside, they will search the master bedroom and the rest of the house for hidden valuables.
Defending yourself against a burglary charge
If you have been charged with burglary, you should be aware of the potential penalties. Burglary charges can be a misdemeanor or felony, and you may face prison time. Fortunately, you do have defense options if you are accused of this crime. In some cases, you can use a factual innocence defense. In Florida, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, which means that you have a right to defend yourself and fight the charge.
One of the best ways to defend yourself against a burglary charge is to prove that you were not a burglar. If you were a victim of a burglary, you could claim entrapment. However, this defense can be difficult to prove. In such a situation, you will need to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you build a solid defense. A criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze the evidence presented in your case and determine the best way to fight the charges.
Penalties for breaking and entering
Penalties for breaking and entering a home can vary by state and are based on the nature of the crime. In most cases, it’s considered a misdemeanor, but if you break into a house or apartment without the owner’s consent, you could be facing a felony. The punishment for this crime can range from fines to jail time of up to a year. You may also face some form of mandatory criminal restitution, which requires you to pay back the value of the property that was damaged or stolen.
A felony conviction for breaking and entering a home requires that the perpetrator possessed the intent to do harm. If the perpetrator is in a relationship, he or she must have been under the protection of a court order. Additionally, violating a personal protection order can result in a felony conviction. In some states, this crime can also be punishable by fines of up to $3,000.