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"Breaking" and entering: forcible entry required?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
    Alabama's Burglary statute makes no requirement that a "breaking" or any forced entry take place. Merely entering or remaining in a building with the intent to commit ANY crime therein constitutes Burglary in this state. There are degrees of Burglary with that of a residence being the most serious, but none of the degrees require any forced entry.
    South Carolina's is essentially the same as Alabama's.
    Did you ever notice that incorrectly is only spelled correctly when it's spelled incorrectly?

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    • #17
      In Washington DC that would be a Burglary II. Sates railroad car in the definition. Though you since they did not break or carry away any property from within you would need to stipulate a secondary criminal offense to charge Burglary. In this case you would probably charge "Unlawful Entry" a misdemeanor.

      Excerpt from title 22-801

      (b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, whoever shall, either in the night or in the daytime, break and enter, or enter without breaking, any dwelling, bank, store, warehouse, shop, stable, or other building or any apartment or room, whether at the time occupied or not, or any steamboat, canalboat, vessel, or other watercraft, or railroad car, or any yard where any lumber, coal, or other goods or chattels are deposited and kept for the purpose of trade, with intent to break and carry away any part thereof or any fixture or other thing attached to or connected with the same, or to commit any criminal offense, shall be guilty of burglary in the second degree. Burglary in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 2 years nor more than 15 years.
      Last edited by JoeyD; 08-05-2012, 06:28 PM.

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      • #18
        So far, it looks like for pretty much any enclosed property, the word "breaks" requires no more force than just pushing open a door. Since the statute I was hoping would apply in this case doesn't require intent to commit a crime, I think we got 'em.

        I sent an inquiry to the A.G.'s office last week asking for an opinion about the definition of "breaks," and I should hear something Monday.

        Thanks to all for the replies.
        --
        Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by RR_Security View Post
          Background: A couple of eejits were seen inside one of our passenger cars at around 0200 one morning. They were not doing "early boarding," and probably didn't even have tickets for a train ride.
          The car is equipped with "traps" so just the doors can be opened for embarking/disembarking passengers at a high-level platform, or stairs can be lowered for ground-level use. Eejits opened the trap and went inside the car. Eejits were detected and removed from the car by local PD, but were not charged with anything because the PD didn't know what to charge them with. I understand why they couldn't charge the eejits with much of anything under Title 17-A.

          I don't expect every officer to know every law. I know how little I really know about the law in general, but if it's got the word "railroad" in it, I probably do know what it says and where to find it.
          This might seem like "cherry picking" to support my position, but this is what I think applies: "Whoever willfully... breaks and enters any railroad car... shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, and shall be liable to the corporation injured in a civil action for the amount of injury so done." There was no "intent" evident or alleged (or required, if I'm reading it right). There was no "injury" (theft or damage) done, that I'm aware of yet, but I don't believe that's a necessary element, either. I think it all comes down to "breaks and enters."
          If anyone wants to read the entire section I'm quoting from, it's here: Title 17 MRSA §2401. Tampering with railroad car.

          Am I right?
          Here "Intent" would be the key. If they were going in and staying in the car to sleep, avoid weather but did not "Intend" to steal anything it would be trespassing (first time)
          MDRDEP:

          There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by jcioccke View Post
            Here "Intent" would be the key. If they were going in and staying in the car to sleep, avoid weather but did not "Intend" to steal anything it would be trespassing (first time)
            After a closer look at Maine's trespassing statute, based on what Resq14 wrote, I think that applies.
            Somebody at an upper level apparently missed the part about "enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders," or thinks it means locks and stuff.

            I just got the reply to the inquiry I sent to Augusta last week, and the nice lady pointed out a source I should have used from the beginning: Black's Law Dictionary. One definition of "breaks" in Black's is "to open...and step through illegally."
            Yeah, that.

            When I'm right, I'm right.
            --
            Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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            • #21
              Sorry for jumping in late. Sounds like a simple criminal trespassing charge to me.

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              • #22
                We're hoping so. Somebody in another office might need convincing, but progress is being made.

                Sometimes the "simplest" things . . .

                Thanks for the input. All these replies make me say "Great Minds Think Alike."
                --
                Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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