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Breaking and Entering Charge Explained by Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys

Updated: September 14, 2021
Nicholas G. Gounaris
By Nicholas G. Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

What You Need to Know If You Face a Charge of Breaking and Entering in Ohio

breaking and entering in ohio

Breaking and entering is a serious offense in Ohio. Police and prosecutors push hard to impose significant jail time for breaking and entering.

Therefore, you need a tough and dedicated criminal defense lawyer to defend you against breaking and entering charge.

What Is Breaking and Entering?

Under the Ohio Revised Code, breaking and entering is a fifth-degree felony. The charge of breaking and entering in Ohio relates to two criminal acts combined into one offense: trespass and theft. 

The statute prohibits any person from using force, stealth, or deception to trespass in an unoccupied structure. Additionally, a conviction for breaking and entering requires proof of an intent to commit a theft offense or any felony. 

An experienced breaking and entering defense lawyer will explain to you that the Ohio Revised Codebreaking and entering law uses words that have particular meanings.

Under this law, trespass means to enter or remain in any structure without permission. “Structure” is a term that refers to any building, car, truck, mobile home, outbuilding, shed, trailer, or dwelling.

The word force means using any physical effort to gain entry. Meanwhile, stealth means trying to avoid discovery when entering. Lastly, deception involves a person trying to trick someone into allowing them to enter the structure. 

Additionally, the police may bring a breaking and entering charge in Ohio when a person enters on the land or premises of another with the intent to commit any felony. 

What Is the Possible Jail Time for Breaking and Entering?

Any person convicted of a fifth-degree felony in Ohio faces a maximum term of one year in prison, with a minimum of six months in prison. The court may impose a fine of up to $2,500. The judge may also impose restitution during a term of probation.

How Is Breaking and Entering in Ohio Different from Burglary?

In Ohio, a burglary occurs when a person enters a home or structure and remains in the structure with an intent to commit a crime.  The severity of the crime increases if a person is in the dwelling or is likely to be within the dwelling.

Additionally, the penalties for burglary increase when a person enters the building while armed.  A person convicted of burglary in Ohio could face up to a first-degree felony.

Defenses for a Breaking and Entering Charge in Ohio

Police and prosecutors will use all their resources to prove the case. However, proving a breaking and entering charge is difficult without solid eyewitness testimony or forensic evidence. 

A seasoned criminal defense lawyer will develop a successful defense strategy after thoroughly reviewing all the evidence.

However, an experienced criminal trial attorney understands how to attack eyewitness testimony and discredit forensic evidence to help protect your freedom.

Fight Your Breaking and Entering Charge with the Help of Dedicated Criminal Lawyers

If you face a charge of breaking and entering in Ohio, you need a tough defense team to stand by you and protect your rights.

The award-winning criminal defense attorneys with Gounaris Abboud have the skill, knowledge, and dedication your case deserves.

Call our criminal defense lawyers today for help with your breaking and entering charge at 937-222-1515 or contact us online.

Available 24/7 & Obligation-Free