Breaking and Entering and Burglary in North Carolina

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Christmas came early for burglars in Charlotte. Two suspects stole Christmas gifts and cash in a recent armed home invasion in the city. The crime highlights the importance of taking security measures to protect your home ahead of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

car-crime-breaking-and-entering-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-300x225According to WCNC, two suspects broke into a home on Crater Street at around 10 p.m. The burglars stole various items, including Christmas gifts. The roommate of the 46-year-old man who was robbed that night said that the home invasion occurred when the victim was in the kitchen listening to music and washing dishes.

The suspects came in, held a gun to the man’s head, and robbed him. Then, they went through all the rooms to steal several items and cash. Among the stolen items was a leather coat worth $700 and a $100 teddy bear backpack, which was supposed to be a special Christmas gift.

The suspects are facing breaking and entering, as well as robbery charges.

Both South and North Carolina are in the top 10 of the worst states for home break-ins, according to a 2019 study by A Secure Life. North Carolina ranks number eight per capita, while South Carolina ranks number nine.


How Does North Carolina Law Define Breaking and Entering?

North Carolina has many criminal laws related to burglary, breaking and entering, and related crimes. Burglary, also known as home invasion, is when a suspect forcibly enters a house with the intent of committing a crime.

However, simply entering other people’s property without permission is also a crime under North Carolina law. Thus, you could be charged with breaking and entering for forcing entry into other people’s buildings or vehicles or trespassing.

Typically, a prosecutor in Charlotte or other parts of North Carolina must establish four elements to charge someone with breaking and entering:

  • There was breaking and entering;
  • The breaking and entering was into a building or vehicle;
  • The owner or tenant did not give the defendant permission to enter the building; and
  • The defendant acted wrongfully without a claim of right at the time of the alleged crime.


Breaking and Entering and Burglary in North Carolina

Traditionally, anyone arrested for breaking and entering into a dwelling (home) at night with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside was charged with burglary. While many states have changed these requirements, North Carolina retains the traditional classification of burglary.

In North Carolina, all it takes to be charged with felonious breaking and entering is if you enter a building or vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft. However, one notable point is that the prosecutor does not have to establish exactly what was on the defendant’s mind at the time of the alleged crime.

In most cases, the sentence is based on the fact that (a) the defendant broke into and entered another person’s building or vehicle, and (b) he or she did not have permission to do so. In other words, the crime of burglary occurs as soon as the defendant enters into the building without permission, even if the intended crime or theft never actually happened.

If you are facing burglary charges in North Carolina, consult with a Charlotte criminal defense attorney familiar with local laws and procedures to get you out of trouble. Speak with our detail-oriented criminal defense lawyers in Charlotte to discuss your options. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.



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