We have all seen crime movies or television shows depicting burglary. Often the burglar kicks down a door to a home or building in the dead of night and steals a highly valuable jewel or piece of artwork. They may tie up or even harm anyone inside the building their burglarizing and then speed away in a getaway car. However, the true crime of burglary in Mississippi is not nearly so nefarious.
What constitutes burglary in Mississippi?
Under Mississippi law, there are several burglary crimes. For example, if a person breaks and enters the dwelling or inner door of a dwelling of another with the intent to commit a crime therein, armed with a deadly weapon or not, and if there is a person in the dwelling, this constitutes burglary. The penalty for a conviction is three to 25 years in prison.
In addition, if a person commits the above act under circumstances that would likely terrorize someone occupying the dwelling, the penalty is increased to 10 to 25 years in prison.
And, if a person breaks and enters a store, warehouse, office or other building (as well as certain vehicles and watercraft), whether it is day or night, with the intent to steal or commit another felony therein also commits burglary under Mississippi law. In this circumstance the penalty is a prison sentence of up to seven years.
Dispelling some myths about burglary
First, as shown above, theft does not have to be the intended crime to constitute burglary. Depending on the building being burglarized, the intent to commit any crime or any felony therein is enough to meet that element of burglary. In addition, it does not matter if the intended crime is actually committed or not, as long as the intent is there. Also, the entry into the building need not be violent. Simply opening a door that is already ajar may suffice. Finally, a person can commit burglary even if they do not have a deadly weapon on them.
Learn more about theft crimes in Mississippi
Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about theft crimes in Mississippi may find our firm’s website to be a useful resource.