Breaking and entering is a serious crime that can land you in jail for up to 25 years on a felony charge. Despite the name, one doesn’t actually have to “break” anything and enter in order for it to be considered a crime. Breaking and entering, or criminal trespass can simply involve the unlawful entering of any premise, whether it’s a home, business, or public building. 


If you’re being accused of a break and enter, burglary, or another similar type of crime in White Plains, New York, you’re going to want to get in touch with a seasoned attorney who can defend you. An experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the justice system and protect your rights is the best way to avoid or minimize any possible consequences.


New York’s laws on breaking and entering


As mentioned, one doesn’t have to “break” into a building to get charged with breaking and entering or burglary, and the crime can happen in a number of different ways, including


  • Tricking someone to gain access
  • Using a key that doesn’t belong to you
  • Opening unlocked windows or doors
  • Hiding inside somewhere during the day and waiting for inhabitants to leave at night


Depending on the crime, breaking and entering can result in some small fines or spending the rest of your life in jail. For example, a misdemeanor criminal trespass conviction may only result in fines whereas a felony criminal trespass charge or a felony burglary can result in a 25-year jail sentence. 


The courts will look at the nature of the crime to determine the charge. For example, walking into your neighbor’s garage and stealing a screwdriver isn’t as serious as breaking into someone’s home, holding them at gunpoint, and stealing thousands of dollars worth of their belongings. 


There are a number of factors that can make a break and enter more serious in the eyes of the law:


  • Brandishing  a firearm or weapon
  • Breaking into someone’s home
  • Committing an assault or causing physical harm 


In order to be charged for breaking and entering or burglary, courts will usually look for proof that the defendant: 


  • Knew he was not allowed inside but entered anyway
  • Committed or tried to commit a crime while inside
  • Refused to leave the premises when confronted by the owner


Winning your case


Depending on the incident you were involved in, it’s possible to either win your case or drastically minimize your punishment, and this all of course depends on what type of defense you have. Perhaps you were intoxicated when the incident took place, or perhaps there was a case of mistaken identity or some other aspect that can help remove you of guilt.


Framing your case will rely on the help of an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of these types of lawsuits. If you’ve been accused of a burglary or a break and enter, don’t hesitate to contact Darren DeUrso right away.


Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law


188 East Post Road, Suite 300


White Plains, NY 10601


Phone: (914) 772-8614