Cape Cod Breaking and Entering Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been arrested for breaking and entering in Cape Cod, contact James Powderly right away. Breaking and entering is a serious offense in Massachusetts. The maximum penalties include up to 20 years in prison. An arrest and conviction can impact your freedom, your ability to provide for your family, and your reputation in the community, affecting your life for years to come. Even if you are innocent, it is vital that you exercise your right to remain silent until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
Cape Cod breaking and entering defense lawyer James Powderly has represented more than 1,000 clients in the Cape Cod area. He can help you work to build a strong defense. He investigates the case, builds strategic defenses, and negotiates with the state prosecutor to reduce or drop the charges. If your breaking and entering case goes to trial, Mr. Powderly works diligently to secure the best result for you, whether that means a not-guilty verdict or a lighter sentence. Contact James Powderly today at (508) 343-0676 or online to begin fighting your breaking and entering charge.
Breaking and Entering Charges in Massachusetts
Breaking and entering is a broad term that encompasses many different individual crimes. The time of day that you broke into the property, as well as your intentions, will determine what you are charged with.
The most serious breaking and entering offense in Massachusetts is breaking and entering at night, also known as burglary. Breaking and entering at night is a felony. The elements of breaking and entering at night are as follows:
- The offense must occur at nighttime.
- You break into a building or structure, meaning you used physical force, not necessarily that you broke anything.
- You enter a building. Even just putting your arm or leg inside the building might count.
- You intend to commit a felony.
Breaking and entering at nighttime is only one type of breaking and entering charge in Massachusetts. Breaking and entering in the daytime is a lesser felony, which has all the same elements as burglary but occurs during the day. Breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor, at nighttime or daytime, is a misdemeanor offense. Entering a building with no intent to commit any further crime is trespassing, rather than breaking and entering, and is a misdemeanor.
What Are the Penalties for Breaking and Entering in Massachusetts?
The possible penalties for breaking and entering in Massachusetts depend on the exact circumstances of the offense. If you break and enter at any time of day with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, the offense is punishable by up to six months in jail. If you enter without breaking at night or break and enter with the intent to commit a felony during the day, the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If you break and enter at night, the offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If you use a firearm during a breaking and entering offense, you may face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. In addition to serious jail time for each offense, you may also face a large fine.
Defenses for Breaking and Entering Charges in Cape Cod
In criminal cases, you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. It is furthermore up to the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can introduce doubt into any element of the prosecution’s case against you, you may be able to get your charges dropped or receive a not-guilty verdict.
The state prosecutor must prove every element of the case. If they don’t have the evidence for even one element or there are questions about why you entered the building, you’re not guilty under Massachusetts law. When you work with James Powderly, he assesses your case by applying the criminal defense training and experience that he has gained over many years. He will draw from a broad base of knowledge to craft the best possible breaking and entering a defense. James Powderly can help you gather evidence that damages the state’s case like eyewitness testimony, photographs, fingerprint evidence, videos, or audio recordings. In addition to maximizing the evidence in your favor, Mr. Powderly can work to downplay the state’s evidence against you by explaining how witnesses may be mistaken or how your intent was not what the state claimed.
Even though charges of breaking and entering seem daunting, there are many defenses that may be appropriate. Some common defenses against breaking and entering include:
- Consent: If the property owner gave you permission to enter the property, you may be able to raise this as a defense. Similarly, if you were granted authorization to enter by a third party, such as a security guard, the charges against you may be dropped and switched instead to that third party.
- Mistaken Identity: Eyewitness testimony is imperfect, and it is possible that you will be incorrectly identified as a suspect. Using this defense may involve proving an alibi, or discrediting witnesses or other evidence.
- Lack of Intent: Breaking and entering is a specific intent crime. For the most serious offense, the state prosecutor must show what your intent was when you entered the building. Often times, the state tries to use circumstantial evidence to prove intent, which can be easy to refute with the help of a lawyer.
Your lawyer will be able to investigate the charges against you to determine the most strategic defense in your case.
Contact James Powderly today to discuss your case
A conviction for breaking and entering can be life-altering for you and your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight alone. James Powderly can help you look at all of the facts and the potential penalties in order to create the best and most strategic defense. To discuss your case with a highly skilled and determined theft crimes attorney in Cape Cod, contact James Powderly at (508) 343-0676 or online today to schedule a confidential consultation.