North Carolina Criminal Law 14-56: Breaking or Entering Into a Motor Vehicle

According to North Carolina Criminal Law 14-56, breaking into a car without permission with the intention of committing a crime or larceny is considered breaking or entering a motor vehicle. It is also known as “Breaking and Entering,” “B&E,” or “Breaking and Entering Vehicle.” Breaking and entering into a vehicle is the unlawful act of entering a residence or other enclosed property without authorization, with or without the purpose of conducting an infraction.

Breaking and entering into a vehicle is a type of property crime. Under North Carolina law, it can be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor, with serious repercussions. If you are about to face criminal charges for burglary, even if it is your first offense, you might be given a felony conviction. Consult with a seasoned North Carolina criminal defense attorney for competent legal assistance and a strong defense that might be the difference between a guilty and not-guilty judgment.

Breaking and Entering Under North Carolina Legislation

Breaking and entering elements in North Carolina are determined by the legislation you are charged with breaching. Each statute, however, requires that you enter some property without authority. Charges for breaking and entering into a vehicle may involve physically circumventing the structure’s security systems. You can be charged with picking a lock or breaking a window. Breaking and entering can also entail unlocking an already unlocked door. It is not essential to physically break or overcome a structure component to get access. If you enter another person’s or municipality’s property without their express or implicit authorization, you may face a breaking and entering prosecution.

Breaking and Entering Under North Carolina Legislation

Felony Breaking and Entering Charges

If you break into a building to conduct an offense or a violent crime, you might be charged with a felony. This can entail committing thievery or harassing any of the building’s tenants. If someone commits a crime while inside, like arson, they may face felony charges as well. Felonies are far more serious, with offenders facing years in prison and huge penalties if convicted.

Misdemeanor Breaking and Entering

If a person breaks into a property but does not conduct any crimes while inside, they may simply face a misdemeanor charge. This is a typical accusation for persons who break into a property to seek sanctuary. Convicted people may merely have to pay a minor fine, serve a brief time in jail, or complete community service to meet their sentence conditions.

If a person breaks into a home or structure they do not have the authorization to be in, they may risk a breaking and entering prosecution. What happened when someone accessed the premises determines whether they are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. A defense counsel for a person charged with this felony may provide evidence to contest the charge or negotiate a plea deal to minimize the charge.

Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle

It is illegal to break into or enter a car to commit a crime or steal something within. The following components must be shown to indicate that an individual is guilty of breaking or entering a motor vehicle:

  • the defendant committed a break-in or an entry
  • the target of the break-in or entry was a motor vehicle
  • the vehicle contained something valuable
  • the owner refused to authorize the breaking and entering
  • the defendant planned to conduct theft at the time of the breaking or entering.

Possession of equipment used to force an entrance into buildings or cars is a criminal in several states, including North Carolina. In North Carolina, for example, it is a crime to carry any lock pick, key, or other instrument used for breaking into buildings without a valid purpose. Possession of a car master key, as well as instruments for picking auto locks or hot wiring, with the purpose of committing a crime, is likewise illegal.

Breaking or entering a motor vehicle is a Class I felony. An individual who has committed a Class I felony in North Carolina faces a term of 3 to 12 months in jail, depending on prior offenses. A person with no past offenses must be sentenced to community service, whereas a person with prior crimes may be sentenced to active prison time.

Further Breaking and Entering Implications

If you are found guilty of breaking and entering, you may also be subject to collateral punishment and perhaps receive a jail or prison sentence. You might be forced to pay restitution if you caused damage to another person’s property. Other possible sanctions include electronic/GPS tracking, house arrest, probation, community service, and fines.

You may have difficulty getting and keeping a job with a conviction for breaking and entering your record. If you want to further your education, you may encounter difficulties with college applications and financial aid. You may have problems locating rental accommodation or obtaining a loan to purchase a property. You lose your right to own or possess a handgun if you are convicted of felony breaking and entering.

Convictions have severe statutory and collateral implications. Speak with a qualified North Carolina breaking and entering defense lawyer for detailed facts about the various consequences of your case. This will allow you to explain your purpose and attempt to lower the penalties in your case.

Contact Expert North Carolina Criminal Law Attorneys at King Law

The penalties for breaking and entering in North Carolina can be quite severe. When specific circumstances are present, such as an accusation of deliberate and wanton damage to real property, the prosecution may file felony charges against you. If the prosecution claims that you illegally invaded the property with the purpose of conducting a felony, your breaking and entering case might result in first-degree burglary charges, which carry substantially harsher penalties.

Our criminal defense experts at King Law may assist you in arguing the question of criminal intent and obtaining a lower sentence in your case. We can secure a plea bargain on your behalf or, if necessary, take your case to trial. If you’ve been charged with breaking and entering in North Carolina, call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also complete our contact form.