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New Hampshire Breaking and Entering Law

The New Hampshire Breaking and Entering Law classify the act of trespassing into another person's property as one which can be categorized as a violation, misdemeanor, or even a felony. The punishment for breaking and Entering New Hampshire depends according to the circumstances involved, the place broken into, and the number of people involved.

Under the breaking and entering laws of New Hampshire, an individual is convicted of criminal trespassing if they are in a place they are not licensed to be in or continue to remain in the place eve after being told to leave. The first time an individual trespasses onto someone else's property, they are convicted of a misdemeanor. However, subsequent offenses classify as a penalty. Additional punishment is doled out to those people who cause property damage of $1500 or more.

An individual can be convicted under the breaking and entering the law of New Hampshire if they are guilty of any one of the following:

  • Illegally entering a housing structure, boat or vehicle which is specially designed to accommodate people overnight.
  • Entering a premise illegally, and staying on despite knowing that all those who enter the property will be prosecuted.
  • Knowingly remaining in a place despite being told to leave personally by the owner or any other person representing the owner.
  • Entering a place despite a court order explicitly telling the person to stay away from the property.

Punishment for Breaking and Entering in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Breaking and Entering Law does not have a blanket punishment for breaking and entering laws. Rather, the courts decide whether the offense carried out was a misdemeanor or a felony. This decision depends on various factors, such as whether the individual is a repeat offender, whether any personal property was broken during trespassing and the value of the damaged goods, and whether the individual stayed on despite repeated warnings to leave.

Criminal trespass is classified as a misdemeanor in the following cases:

  • If the trespass took place in a structure that is currently occupied, or in a place which is used for overnight accommodation for people. Knowingly entering a secured premise, and not leaving despite being communicated to do so by the owner or any person representing the owner.
  • Entering a place while defying a court order which prohibits them from entering the place.

An individual will be convicted of a Class B Felony under Breaking and Entering Law in the following cases:

  • Entering an occupied structure without permission, especially if the individual is a repeat offender.
  • Trespassing on a property with a concealed weapon. Whether or not the individual had an intent to harm does not matter during charging with the crime. The individual may or may not be allowed to contest the act of carrying a concealed weapon in court.
  • Entering a secure premise with the intention of committing a crime, such as stealing property or causing harm to the people inside.

Defenses

The courts of New Hampshire allow an individual convicted of breaking and entering to defend themselves in court. The defenses which are normally accepted by courts include the following:

  • At the time of breaking in, the individual genuinely believed that the structure was empty. The individual cannot be held liable for the crime if a homeless person or another trespasser was sleeping on the scene.
  • The individual entered the building lawfully but did not know that the room they entered into was out of bounds. Proving this to be true tends to get a little difficult as anyone who enters a building should know which room is accessible to them.

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