The People’s Lawyer

Is breaking into an outhouse a crime?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Outhouses are separate structures from the main building that house toilets. While largely out of use and considered illegal off-grid modifications in several states, West Virginia is one of the few where the structures are still legal.

You might think it funny to break into a neighbor’s outhouse to play a prank, or you were desperate to answer nature’s call. Either way, entering another person’s outhouse without permission is a burglary crime in West Virginia, and you can face penalties for conviction.

Breaking and entering outhouses

By state law, anyone who breaks and enters – or enters without breaking – any outbuilding adjoining a dwelling to commit another offense is guilty of a felony.

This definition covers all types of outbuildings, not just outhouses. It includes outdoor privies and pit latrines, as well as non-toilet-related structures such as tool sheds, detached garages, kennels, gazebos, home offices, and more.

The penalties

If a court convicts a person of breaking into an outbuilding, they face up to 15 years of imprisonment at a state correctional facility. This is the same penalty levied on those who break into dwellings such as houses, mobile homes, trailers, etc.

Outhouses may be small structures that seem inconsequential when compared to the bigger structures they accompany, but breaking into one is still considered a burglary offense.

If you are facing charges related to breaking and entering an outhouse in West Virginia, it is important to consult with an experienced legal professional who can provide you with specific legal advice based on the facts of your case.