June 17, 2015 One of the most difficult things for an ordinary citizen to undergo is to become accidentally swept up in a legal investigation, accused of a crime they never intended to commit. When one of our clients came to us and told us, “I was trapped in a store after they closed and now I’m being accused of breaking and entering,” we knew we had to help them get the justice that they deserve. Note: the following is a general overview and should not be construed as legal advice Closing Time In this hectic, busy world it’s normal for many people to do late shopping, often pushing the chronological boundaries of the business. Sometimes, however, a customer may be deep inside a store and not realize that the doors will soon be closing. After that, it’s too late, and sometimes a person can remain trapped for many hours or even the entire night. To ensure that this unfortunate event will be perceived as an innocent mistake, it’s important for any inadvertently trapped shoppers to be mindful that the ordinary rules governing behavior still apply. Any merchandise, equipment or food belonging to the company or its employees should be treated the same as during normal business hours. Any accidentally trapped shopper should be diligent in not damaging, breaking or destroying any company property. Normal hygiene standards and basic decorum should be observed at all times. Breaking and Entering Business owners have the right to protect their valuable commercial property from intrusion and theft. But there is a difference between intentionally entering a property with a malicious purpose and being accidentally trapped on a property after hours. Business owners and legal authorities pressing charges of breaking and entering will have the onus of evidentiary proof. Without video of intentional breaking an entering, or material signs of damage pursuant to the illicit entrance onto the property, it will be difficult for wrongly accused persons to be convicted. As with all legal cases, no guarantees exist. In the eventuality of adverse rulings, additional judicial remedies may become available for future proceedings. Swift Justice If you, or someone you know, has been accused of breaking and entering after becoming accidental trapped in a store after closing time, it is essential that you get excellent legal representation to protect your rights and ensure a just disposition of your case. Breaking and entering is a serious charge in most jurisdictions and it is imperative for innocent people to clear themselves of these serious allegations of wrongdoing.