Breaking and entering a building without permission is a criminal offense, but it could become a more serious crime – burglary – if the offender broke into the structure with the intent to commit theft or a felony.
A North Carolina court can prosecute some breaking and entering offenses as misdemeanors, while the act of burglary is always a felony. However, breaking and entering certain buildings may immediately count as felonies, such as trying to break into a pharmacy.
The law on breaking or entering a pharmacy
According to state law, a person who breaks or enters a pharmacy with the intent to commit a larceny of a controlled substance commits a Class E felony. An offender will face this charge even if they were unable to steal any controlled substances through their break-in.
If a court convicts a person of breaking or entering a pharmacy, the person faces up to seven years of imprisonment. If a court additionally finds that the person committed the felony while using, displaying or threatening to use a deadly weapon, the maximum term of imprisonment is increased by 72 months.
Additional penalties for stealing controlled substances
In addition to a charge for breaking and entering a pharmacy, an offender can also face separate charges for possessing a controlled substance stolen as part of the break-in. This is a Class F felony, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence on conviction.
The offenses of breaking and entering and burglary are serious enough but breaking into certain buildings – such as pharmacies – makes the crimes even more severe. If you are facing charges related to breaking into a pharmacy, it is important to consult with a legal professional who may be able to help you understand your rights and options.