Entering the private property of another is a serious crime in Michigan. However, the seriousness of such an offense depends significantly on the type of property at issue, whether force was used, as well as the intent of the person who is alleged to have entered.
Michigan lawmakers have created several different crimes, all related to unlawful entry onto another’s property. Each of these offenses is contained in Chapter XVI of the Michigan Penal Code. For example, on the less serious side, there is the crime of opening a coin or deposit box. This offense could apply to breaking into a parking meter, for instance, and is considered a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment. Similarly, the crime of breaking into an outside showcase involves breaking into an enclosed container, such as a display case. This, too, is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment.
When the structure at issue is one in which a person could be present, or is likely to contain things of more significant value, the seriousness of the crime increases. For example, the crime of entering without breaking into a “dwelling, house, tent, hotel, office, store, shop, warehouse, barn, granary, factory or other building, boat, ship, shipping container, railroad car” or any other structure is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment.