Alabama Breaking and Entering Law
Breaking and Entering or entering a private building without permission in order to commit a crime is considered a serious offense in the state of Alabama. In Alabama, breaking and entering is sometimes called a Home Invasion. A Home invasion can be charged as a trespass because the element of theft and assault are included in its statutes.
Alabama laws criminalize trespass and are thus considered a serious offense. An act is classified as trespass if an individual breaks into and enters a dwelling and remains there without the permission of the legal owner of the premises. However, entry into the premises must be physical. Throwing a stone or shooting a bullet into the building does not constitute a trespass according to Alabama laws.
The permission element is crucial when trying a case of trespass. If an invited friend overstayed his visit and was asked to leave, but did not, it can be classified as a trespass. Another clause of trespass is described as an outsider who forcefully breaks into a building knowing fully well that the owner is inside. These examples have loopholes in them that a skilled lawyer can manipulate to lessen the seriousness of the offense. However, breaking and entering into a premise at gunpoint will in all certainty be charged with a first-degree burglary which is much more serious than a trespass.
Home Invasion Burglary:
Burglary or home invasion is a term used when an individual breaks into a home with the intent of committing a felony inside. Home invasion burglaries in Alabama invite the strictest of punishments as it is considered a serious crime.
Second Degree Burglary and Third Degree Burglary:
A second-degree burglary in the state of Alabama is described as a burglary committed in a dwelling. In other words, when an individual breaks into a house while the owners are present to steal an expensive electronic item like a laptop, it has committed a second-degree burglary. This is a serious offense when compared to a burglary that took place when the owners were not at home. This is considered a third-degree burglary.
When burglarizing a commercial office or store and if the offender was unarmed during the act, the offense is a third-degree burglary attempt and in a case that the burglar was armed, it is considered a second-degree burglary.
A First Degree Burglary is considered the most serious kind of burglary. This burglary is described as when an offender, armed with any kind of weapon, breaks into a home, with the intention to burglarize and bring harm to anyone who comes in his way. In this case, armed with a weapon would mean, armed with an explosive, or a gun, knife or any object, threatening to bring harm, death or serious injury to the victims of the burglary.
Possession of burglary tools:
Alabama rules specifically record that an individual found in possession of tools or instruments designed to forcibly break into a property or building can be charged with the crime of burglary. For example, a person in possession of bolt cutters used to cut padlocks, crowbars, slim jims, hammers could be convicted of being in possession of burglary tools.
Punishment for Breaking and Entering in Alabama
- Trespassing is a Class A misdemeanor. A misdemeanor in Alabama is punishable by a prison term of one year and a fine of up to $6000.
- Burglary is a Class C Felony which may attract punishments of 1 year in prison with a maximum sentence of not more than 10 years. This includes a fine of $15,000. Possession of burglary tools is a Class C Felony.
- Burglary in the second degree is a Class B felony which is punishable by an imprisonment term of 2 to 20 years and a fine of $30,000
- Burglary in the first degree is a Class A felony punishable by a prison term of 10 to 99 years and a fine of $60,000