Break and Enter Offence
Understanding the Crime in Legal Terms
Break and enter is an offence of “breaking and entering” which carries severe penalties if the accused has been found guilty of such charge.
Section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) addresses breaking and entering, which states:
- A person who:
- Breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable therein, or
- Being in any dwelling-house or other building commits any serious indictable offence therein and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building is guilty of an offence.
- A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) in aggravation.
- A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (2) is circumstances of special aggravation.
the Crime in Legal Terms
“Serious indictable offence”
Section 112 states that it is an offence to break and enter and commit a “serious indictable offence”.
A serious indictable offence extends beyond simply breaking and entering to steal property, and includes other “serious indictable” motives that a person may have for breaking and entering into a property, such as assault, murder or sexual assault.
“Break” – what does this include?
“Breaking” into a property does not only mean actually breaking property to gain access (for example, smashing through a window or door).
“Breaking” into a property can be actual or constructive:
Section 112(2) and 112(3) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) refers to circumstances of ‘aggravation’ and ‘special aggravation’.
Aggravating circumstances that the Court may consider include:
Special aggravating circumstances include:
Other types of Break and Enter offences
“Break and Enter” offences extend to different categories.
If found guilty of a breaking and entering offence, the penalties vary depending on the severity of the offence. Often, breaking and entering carries gaol term.
Maximum penalties include:
Defending a Break and Enter
To successfully defend a break and enter charge, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did not: