14-56. Breaking or entering into or breaking out of railroad cars, motor vehicles, trailers, aircraft, boats, or other watercraft.

(a) If any person, with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein, breaks or enters any railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind, containing any goods, wares, freight, or other thing of value, or, after having committed any felony or larceny therein, breaks out of any railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind containing any goods, wares, freight, or other thing of value, that person is guilty of a Class I felony. It is prima facie evidence that a person entered in violation of this section if he is found unlawfully in such a railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft.

(a1) If any person violates subsection (a) of this section, that person is guilty of a Class H felony if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind is owned or operated by any law enforcement agency, the North Carolina National Guard, or any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(2) The person knows or reasonably should know that the railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind is owned or operated by any law enforcement agency, the North Carolina National Guard, or any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(b) It shall not be a violation of this section for any person to break or enter any railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind to provide assistance to a person inside the railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or watercraft of any kind if one or more of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The person acts in good faith to access the person inside the railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or watercraft of any kind in order to provide first aid or emergency health care treatment or because the person inside is, or is in imminent danger of becoming unconscious, ill, or injured.

(2) It is reasonably apparent that the circumstances require prompt decisions and actions in medical, other health care, or other assistance for the person inside the railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or watercraft of any kind.

(3) The necessity of immediate health care treatment or removal of the person from the railroad car, motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, or other watercraft of any kind is so reasonably apparent that any delay in the rendering of treatment or removal would seriously worsen the physical condition or endanger the life of the person. (1907, c. 468; C.S., s. 4237; 1969, c. 543, s. 5; 1979, c. 437; c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 10; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 2015-286, s. 3.3(a); 2021-167, s. 1.)