What Are the Breaking and Entering Laws in North Carolina?

Breaking and entering is a serious criminal charge in North Carolina. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a felony but it could be a misdemeanor.

Felony B&E is when a person breaks into or enters a building with the intent to commit larceny (theft) or to commit any other felony withing the building. This is a Class H Felony. If a person breaks into or wrongfully enters a building without committing larceny or another felony, than it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Breaking and entering doesn’t just apply to buildings. This statute also applies motor vehicles, railroad cars, trailers, aircraft, boats or other watercraft. B&E of any of these types is an automatic Class I felony. Beyond this, there are also specific subsections of the statute dealing with coin and currency machines as well.

The statute that covers breaking and entering also applies to burglary. The difference between  burglary and breaking and entering is that burglary occurs at night. There are two types of burglary in North Carolina – 1st degree and 2nd degree. 1st degree burglary is if the crime is committed in a house or a room used as a sleeping apartment and there is a person occupying that room or sleeping compartment. 2nd degree burglary is when there is no one present during the commission of the crime. 1st degree burglary is a Class D felony and 2nd degree is a Class G.

Especially because these crimes are most often charged at the felony level vs. the misdemeanor level, making them non-expungeable, you should have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney working for you if you’ve been charged with either of these crimes.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.