Breaking and entering is a crime that often results in heavy prison sentences or fines. While the financial damage from the crime itself is often compensated by homeowner’s insurance, many victims of robberies cite mental anguish resulting from the incident, a fact that often leads to longer sentences.
Of course, sentencing varies wildly depending on the circumstances. A person with no prior criminal history will likely receive a lighter sentence, for example, than a person who has a long criminal record. The circumstances of the incident are also important; attorneys involved in a breaking and entering will often work to point out any unusual circumstances that could result in a lighter sentence.
One Maryland man was given the relatively harsh sentence of six to 12 years for his actions in a break-in last year. On Aug. 22, 2012, the man apparently entered the hotel room of a business traveler and concealed himself under her bed. The man then apparently waited for the woman to return and while she was asleep, stole money and credit cards and attempted to get into bed with her. When she awoke, he fled.
The man later used the woman’s debt card to make purchases at two locations, all totaling less than $150.
He was arrested and charged with simple assault, burglary, theft and access device fraud. The man apologized and pleaded guilty. The judge took the apology and the guilty plea into account when determining the sentence, but also noted that the man had a long criminal history. He then settled on the six to 12 year prison term.
Even though crimes such as this one can garner a lot of media attention, an experienced criminal defense attorney will work diligently to protect the rights of his or her clients. It’s important to remember that any one charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: Erie Times-News, “Man sentenced for Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel break-in” Lisa Thomson, Nov. 12, 2013