Do You Need Help in Fighting the Charge of Breaking or Entering Carrier Facilities?
Our lawyers specialize in federal white collar crimes like breaking or entering a vehicle, theft of cargo, and various forms of government investigations. Our firm measure of success is our clients’ freedom. The breaking or entering into a vehicle is tantamount to doing so to a building. It is the illegal entry into a person’s vehicle intending to commit a felony.
Lawmakers, police, and judges take these charges seriously. The law discourages people from committing this crime, that risks public safety and carries a harsh penalty. A defendant can be charged with breaking or entering carrier facilities, regardless if they harmed that institution. Police believe break-ins occur in a series and try linking a suspect to as many as possible.
Charges of breaking and entering are brought later on, and often involve law enforcement forcing confessions. Whether the confession is admissible evidence is a legal question any person ask a lawyer about. Our criminal attorneys have extensive experience defending this type of charges, and are devoted to eliminating every possible avenue to obtain the best results.
If you would like someone to aggressively defend you against allegations and investigations of breaking or entering carrier facilities or any of the related crimes described below, contact us for a legal review of your case. We will be more than happy to assist you in this difficult situation.
What is Breaking or Entering? 18 U.S.C. Section 2117
A person commits a felony of breaking or entering when the person “breaks or enters” without the owner’s consent any type of railroad car, vessel, aircraft, motor-truck, wagon or other vehicle or of any pipeline system containing anything of value with the intent, at the time of breaking, to commit a felony.
In 2012, Congress strengthened the above law and included, a “pre-retail medical products” offense with even harsher penalties. 18 U.S.C. Section 2117.
Elements That the Government Has to Meet
In order to be convicted of breaking or entering carrier facilities, prosecutors must prove each element of the offense. In addition, the prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. This is a high standard.
A person is guilty only if they:
1. Break or enter;
To establish the element of “break-in,” the courts have sometimes adopted the rules that a “break-in” may occur by the defendant’s gaining entry by any physical act, or by using even the slightest force and that the opening of an unlocked door is sufficient to constitute a “break-in.“
To establish the element of an “entry,” the court in many vehicular burglary cases have stated that the smallest entry with the whole or any other part of the body, such as the hand, foot, instrument or weapon, introduced for the purpose of committing a felony, is sufficient to complete the offense.
2. Without consent;
Without consent mostly refer to an authorized entry or an entry without consent. Consent could be given expressly or impliedly from conduct or previous authorizations. However, in one case an owner’s lack of consent could not be established by the government attorney because it could not prove that the vehicle entered by the defendant was the victim’s vehicle.
3. Any railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, wagon or other watercraft;
The statute provided that a person commits a crime when, without authorization, and intending to commit a felony or theft, he enters or remains within the vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or other such structure designed for use as a carrier.
What is a Carrier?
The Federal Motor Carrier Act of 1935 defines a motor vehicle common carrier as: “The means any person who or which undertakes directly by lease, or any other arrangement, the transport of passengers, property – any or all classes thereof, for the general public in interstate or foreign commerce by motor vehicle for compensation, whether over regular or irregular routes, including such motor vehicle operations of carriers by rail or water, and of express or forwarding companies, except to the extent that these operations are subject to the provisions of part I [Interstate Commerce Act].” 49 U.S.C.A. § 303(a) (14)
However, a dealer who purchased used cars in one state and transported them to another state could be held as a common carrier under the Federal Court definition. This is an entirely different view for the definition of “common carrier” from the Code.
In Interstate Commerce Commission v. Davidson, the court held that the defendant definition of carriers was wrong, business could constitute a common carrier within the meaning of the Motor Carrier Act when the transactions in which the defendant has indulged contains all of the elements specified in the definition because the defendant undertook to transport passengers, for the general public, in interstate commerce, by motor vehicle, for compensation. Interstate Commerce Commission v. Davidson (1937, DC) 20 F Supp. 832.
4. Containing anything of value;
The word value has different meanings. Under the Black dictionary, the value is “the utility of an object in satisfying, directly or indirectly, the needs of a human being.” In a number of states jurisdictions, it was not necessary for the state to prove that the victim had sustained a loss of property or that property had some value to meet this element.
5. At the time of breaking or entering, the person intended to commit felony or larceny
The criminal intent is a conscious decision that a person makes to deliberately or negligently engage in an unlawful action. Vehicular larceny cases involving proof that requisite “intent” existed, normally are framed in terms of an intent to commit a felony or theft within the vehicle.
If a person is guilty of breaking or entering a carrier, under federal laws, will be fined or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. 18 U.S.C. Section 2117
Theft of Medical Products 18 U.S.C. Section 2117
In 2012 the Congress passed a new law to punish people even harder if their charge involves the intent to commit theft or the actual theft of medical products. Federal law states, that “if the offense involves a pre-retail medical product, the liable party can be punished under section 670 if the penalties provided for under this section are not greater.”
The term ‘pre-retail medical product’ means a medical product that has not yet been made available for retail purchase by a consumer.
What are the penalties?
Under Section 670, if the value of the medical products is an offense of $5,000 or greater, the person will be fined or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both. It depends on the gravity of the offense. An aggravated offense relating this topic could be up to 20 years of imprisonment. Further, there are also civil penalties that could be up to 1 million dollars.
This means that if the breaking or entering a vehicle with the intent to commit larceny involving medical products, then you seriously need to consider the advice of an experienced attorney.
The Department of Justice Criminal Division Cases
Why do you need good legal representation in these type of cases? Here are some cases on point regarding how federal law punishment could impact your life.
On March 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Javier Encinas was sentenced to prison for breaking and entering into U.S. Postal Service Vehicle to steal mail. A year earlier, he was stopped by law officers in a stolen car. In the car, the officers found 471 stolen items. He admitted to breaking into the postal vehicle with a crowbar to steal mail.
He received 18 months in prison by the U.S. District Judge Robert Jones.
On October 16, 2017, in Portland, United States District Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Eugene Price to 12 months and one day in prison and to pay restitution of $5,055.07 to the victims, including the reparation of the U.S. Postal Service’s vehicle damage. What happened?
About two years earlier, Price broke the windows of the U.S. Postal Service vehicle to steal parcels and some personal belongings of the postal carriers. Price admitted that he stole packages from the U.S Postal Service vehicle and that his offense had more than ten victims.
With this sentence, the U.S. Attorney Billy Williams wanted to send a clear message, and stated: “This sentence serves notice that we will aggressively pursue anyone who breaks into Postal Service vehicles and of the serious consequences for stealing U.S. Mail.”
Contact Our Talented Criminal Defense Team Today
Contact us now for a case evaluation. We are specialized lawyers you can trust with your charge of breaking or entering carrier facilities or similar charges. Let us fight these harsh federal charges. Remember, the admissibility of your confession is a legal question for us. Let us enforce your constitutional rights that probably protected you at the time you spoke to an officer.