The Laws on Breaking and Entering in Maine
Breaking and entering is a crime that is associated with burglary within the state of Maine. Should one or more people enter a property that is either not open to public access, or at a time when public access is prohibited, and when they have the intent to commit a crime on the property, they can be charged with breaking and entering in Maine.
What is 'breaking and entering'?
Breaking and entering is the illegal entry into a property with the intent to commit a crime there. It is associated with burglary within Maine and punishable under laws related to burglary. However, the association with burglary does not mean that breaking and entering are related to theft. Theft and burglary laws are separate in Maine, with the primary difference being that something must be stolen in order for a theft to have taken place, while burglary does not necessarily include theft.
Anyone charged with breaking and entering will be punished under burglary laws. Breaking and entering laws mainly deal with entering the property with the intent to commit a crime, and not the crime itself. So if something was stolen from the property, then the charges of theft will be added to the charge of burglary. Just by intentionally breaking and entering into the property, the person becomes guilty of burglary.
What are the laws on breaking and entering in Maine?
Breaking and entering laws in Maine find anyone guilty of illegally entering a property that is considered to be a valid structure, to be guilty of the crime. A valid structure is any property that has the capacity to allow people or animals to reside within it. So a piece of empty land, while technically a property, if trespassed upon, cannot be charged by breaking and entering laws. However, if the property being broken into is a house, a shop, a garage, or any other private or commercial property is a valid structure, then those breaking into it will be guilty of burglary.
Usually, a burglary is considered a Class C offense in Maine. If the crime is of a more serious nature, then the classification of the punishment will also be more severe. When the place is broken into is a residential property, the offenders could be charged with a Class B offense. If the offenders were carrying weapons with them, then they could be charged with a Class A offense. A Class A offense is the most serious offense within the State, and the repercussions for committing such a crime could be long-lasting in the offender's life, with long jail sentences and large fines.
What are the punishments for breaking and entering in Maine?
A conviction of breaking and entering within the state of Maine could lead to serious jail time, as well as exorbitant amounts to be paid in fines. The punishment awarded is dependant on the crime committed. If additional crimes were committed alongside breaking and entering, then the offender will also be tried for those. Prior convictions will also lead to harsher sentences for breaking and entering.
If the offender was found to have broken into a property and intended to commit a crime there, then they will be charged with a Class C offense. The punishment for this is incarceration for a period not exceeding five years, and a fine not exceeding $5000.
If the offender committed a more serious crime alongside breaking an entering, such as being an accomplice to a person who was armed, or breaking and entering into a family home, then they will be charged with a Class B offense. The punishment for this is either incarceration not exceeding a period of ten years, or a fine not exceeding $20,000. Sometimes, being armed with a weapon could also lead to this punishment.
If the offender carried a dangerous weapon while breaking and entering, then they could be charged with a Class A offense. The punishment for this is incarceration for a period that is not more than thirty years, and a fine that is not greater than $50,000.
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