James K. Minick

James K. Minick

The act of committing a burglary is a serious offense. Although many people pair burglary and robbery together, they are separate and distinct crimes. Burglary is generally seen as the breaking and entering of a home at night for the purposes of committing a felony or larceny. This definition is very particular and as such, requires several unique factors to be present.

Breaking and entering is a felony if it includes the intent to commit a felony in the building or grounds that were illegally entered. Breaking and entering without the intent to commit a felony, however, is a misdemeanor.

The following offenses list out the required elements of each crime and punishments given out upon conviction. In order to obtain a conviction, the State must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Since burglary is seen as a danger to public safety and security, the punishment for conviction of burglary is quite severe.

First-Degree Burglary

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Break and
  2. Enter
  3. Without consent
  4. Into the dwelling house or sleeping apartment
  5. Of another
  6. While it is actually occupied
  7. At night
  8. With the intent to commit any felony or larceny therein

For Element 1, breaking requires the making of some kind of opening. Entering into a building through an open door or window is not considered breaking. However, opening an unlocked door or window would be considered breaking. For Element 3, consent is not given if the consent was obtained through fraud or coercion. For Element 7, night begins thirty minutes after sunset and ends thirty minutes prior to sunrise. For Element 8, the intruder must have formed the intent to commit the felony or larceny before the actual breaking and entering.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of first-degree burglary, they are guilty of a Class D felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-52.

Second-Degree Burglary

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Break and
  2. Enter
  3. Without consent
  4. Into the dwelling house or sleeping apartment, or any building within the curtilage of the dwelling
  5. Of another
  6. At night
  7. With the intent to commit any felony or larceny therein

Second-Degree burglary is almost exactly like First-Degree burglary except Second-Degree burglary does not require the dwelling to be occupied or that the building broken into be the actual dwelling place, just a building within the curtilage (surrounding area) of the dwelling.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of second-degree burglary, they are guilty of a Class G felony under N.C. Gen. Stat § 14-52.

Breaking Out of a Dwelling

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Enter
  2. Without consent
  3. The dwelling house
  4. Of another
  5. With the intent to commit any felony or larceny therein or
  6. Commits any felony or larceny
  7. In the dwelling house
  8. Of another and
  9. Then breaks out of the dwelling
  10. At night

This offense allows the State to charge a person who entered into a house without having to break in, but did have to break in order to leave or escape. This offense also address the possibility of an individual entering into a house during the day and then having to leave at night.

In this offense, breaking is still defined as when an individual makes some sort of opening in order to leave.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of breaking out of a dwelling, they are guilty of a Class D felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-53.

Felonious Breaking or Entering of a Building

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Break or enter
  2. Without consent
  3. Any building
  4. With the intent to commit any felony or larceny therein

For Element 1, there does not have to be both a breaking and an entering, just a single breaking or an entering. The felonious breaking or entering can also occur at any time of day.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of felonious breaking or entering of a building, they are guilty of a Class H felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-54(a).

Misdemeanor Breaking or Entering of a Building

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Break or enter
  2. Without consent
  3. Any building

The elements of this offense are the same as felonious breaking or entering of a building except for the lack of intent to commit a felony or larceny

Punishment

If a person is guilty of misdemeanor breaking or entering of a building, they are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-54(b).

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