Breaking and Entering
If you're charged with Breaking and Entering, the prosecution must prove that you broke into a structure with the intent to commit a crime while in the building. Most often the crime that the prosecutor will use to prove breaking and entering is larceny, but they can also prove that you broke into the house with the intent to commit a more or less serious crime.
What does it mean to break?
The breaking part of Breaking and Entering means that you applied some amount of force to enter a structure. It can be simply pushing open an already slightly open door. You do not have to actual break something. For example, if you open an unlocked window, that would be breaking.
What does it mean to enter?
Entering can be any intrusion into a building. If you walk into the building, that's entering. But it's also entering if you stick your finger or a tool into a building.
What's the punishment for Breaking and Entering?
There are several different kinds of breaking and entering. For example, if you breaking into a home at night using a deadly weapon, it's a Class 2 felony. A Class 2 felony is punishable by up to life in prison. But if you are convicted of breaking into a building with a intent to commit a misdemeanor, it could be a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony only carries up to 5 years in prison. You're actual punishment in each case will depend on many different factors, including your criminal record.