If you are charged with Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
Breaking & Entering Building with Intent is a class D felony that carries up to 10 years in prison (120 months). If you are arrested and charged with Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 750.11. The provisions of MCL 750.110 state:
(1) A person who breaks and enters, with intent to commit a felony or a larceny therein, a tent, hotel, office, store, shop, warehouse, barn, granary, factory or other building, structure, boat, ship, shipping container, or railroad car is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years.
(2) As used in this section and section 111, shipping container means a standardized, reusable container for transporting cargo that is capable of integrating with a railcar flatbed or a flatbed semitrailer.
Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent under Michigan sentencing guidelines is scored under crimes against property (Property). Under the guidelines, a person who is convicted of Breaking & Entering Building with Intent with no prior record and no aggravating factors looks to the low end of the guidelines which call for up to 6 months. With no prior criminal record but horrible facts, the defendant can face 23 months. With a terrible criminal record and terrible facts, the accused can be looking at 76 months under the guidelines.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for Breaking & Entering Building with Intent that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 25.1 Breaking and Entering
(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of breaking and entering. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, that the defendant broke into a building. It does not matter whether anything was actually broken; however, some force must have been used. Opening a door, raising a window, and taking off a screen are all examples of enough force to count as a breaking. Entering a building through an already open door or window without using any force does not count as a breaking.
(3) Second, that the defendant entered the building. It does not matter whether the defendant got [his / her] entire body inside. If the defendant put any part of [his / her] body into the building after the breaking, that is enough to count as an entry.
(4) Third, that when the defendant broke and entered the building, [he / she] intended to commit [state offense].
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent. While there are a number of defenses to Breaking & Entering Building with Intent that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 25.1 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.