Breaking and Entering

Using force or deceptive means to steal from an occupied structure is known as burglary. However, even when the structure is unoccupied you can still be charged with a crime. Trespassing on another’s property with the intent to commit larceny is a considered breaking and entering in Ohio.

The penalties for breaking and entering may not as severe as burglary, but they are nothing to scoff at. Breaking and entering can result in a felony charges, so you have the potential of receiving prison time. A conviction could also limit your educational, professional and housing opportunities because you will now have a criminal record. If you have been arrested for breaking and entering, we advise you to contact an experienced licensed attorney.

Attorneys for Breaking and Entering in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you’ve been accused of breaking and entering, we recommend you hire effective legal counsel to protect yourself. Breaking and entering is a felony-level charge, meaning you could be strapped with expensive fines and be required to spend time in prison. Avoid these statutory penalties by hiring excellent legal counsel with Joslyn Law Firm.

Joslyn Law Firm is a group of reputable attorneys who practice in the southern region of Ohio’s criminal courts. We have accumulated numerous defense techniques and strategies over our years of practice we want to implement for your case. Let us guide you through this experience by delivering skilled legal representation.

Call us now at (513) 399-6289 to set up your first free consultation. Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients accused of property crimes throughout the Cincinnati area such as Norwood, Harrison, Cincinnati, and Cleves.

Overview of Breaking and Entering in Ohio   


What Does Ohio Consider to be Breaking and Entering?

When someone says “breaking and entering” your mind probably jumps to burglary or criminal trespass. However, you might be unaware that breaking and entering is a charge all in itself. It differs from burglary because it’s in an unoccupied structure and criminal trespass because the offender must have the intent to commit a felony to be charged.

According to the Ohio Revised Code section 2911.13, breaking and entering is when a person trespasses onto an unoccupied structure with the purpose to commit any theft offense such as hacking a computer or stealing money and items. A person can also be charged with breaking and entering if they have an intent to commit a felony. For example, you could be charged with breaking and entering if you obtain documents used to defraud inside an unoccupied structure. 

Violating these laws will result in a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable by: 

  • Up to 12 months in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

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Criminal Trespass Under Ohio Law

A charge commonly associated with breaking and entering is criminal trespass. Under the Ohio Revised Code section 2911.21, you are committing criminal trespass if:

  • You knowingly enter or remain on another person’s property;
  • Enter or remain on a property that is lawfully restricted and violates these restrictions;
  • Recklessly entering or remaining in a property where they’re unauthorized to access by law or communication from the owner, including fenced-in properties; or
  • Staying on another’s land and negligently failing to leave when a signage notifies them to do so by the owner

Saying the land was publicly owned or securing authorization by deception are both not considered valid defenses in a criminal trespass case. Violating these laws will result in a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by: 

  • Up to 30 days in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $250

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Statute of Limitations for Breaking and Entering in Ohio

The district attorney must follow a time limit when they’re prosecuting cases, otherwise known as a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations ensures charges are filed while the evidence is still intact and to ensure that criminal cases are being handled in an efficient manner. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is decided by the crime’s offense level.

Since criminal trespass is a misdemeanor, it would have a statute of limitations of only two years. However, a breaking and entering case is a felony charge so the statute of limitations will be extended to six years. If certain felonies are committed in the unoccupied structure such as arson or burglary, then the statute of limitations will be enhanced to 20 years.


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Additional Resources

Prison Policy Initiative – Visit the official website for the non-profit, non-partisan group committed to ending mass incarceration across the United States. Access the site to read their research on mass criminalization and more information how to get involved.  

Ohio’s Laws for Breaking and Entering – Visit the official website for Ohio’s Revised Code to learn more about their statutes for breaking and entering. Access the site to find more information regarding breaking and entering and other relatable offenses. 


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Breaking and Entering Attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you or someone you know has been accused of breaking and entering, we suggest you find effective legal counsel. A breaking and entering charge is a felony-level offense so you could be sentenced with harsh penalties. Fight back by gaining effective counsel with Joslyn Law Firm. 

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have been practicing criminal defense for years. We will utilize our experience, resources and knowledge to fight for your rights. Don’t waste another moment and call us now at (513) 399-6289 to set up your first consultation free. Joslyn Law Firm practices law throughout the Hamilton County area including Cleves, Cincinnati, Blue Ash and Harrison.


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This article was last updated on July 25, 2019.