Break and Enter
What is break and enter?
It is an offence to break enter and steal in NSW, which is a ‘serious indictable offence’ (S 112 (1) Crimes Act 1900). A serious indictable offence is any offence that carries a goal term of at least 5 years imprisonment.
You can be charged with this offence if you break (no need to be an actual breaking) and entered into a house or premises and commit a serious indictable offence while inside such as seriously assaulting someone or stealing. You will still be charged with a break and enter, even if you enter by an unlocked but closed window, gate or door.
The Law and penalties
The offence of Break, Enter and Steal or Break, Enter and Commit Serious Indictable Offence is contained in section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:
- A person who (a) breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein, or (b) 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 and liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
- Aggravated offence – A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.
- Specially aggravated offence – A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (2) in circumstances of special aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.
Aggravation includes where you:
- Are armed with an offensive weapon or instrument
- Knew that people were inside the house
- Are in the company of another person/s at the time of the offence;
- Deprive another person of their liberty
- Inflict actual bodily harm on another person;
- Inflict corporal (physical) violence upon another person.
Special Aggravation includes where you:
- Recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm (really serious harm) upon another person
- Intentionally wound or inflict grievous bodily harm upon another person;
- Are armed with a dangerous weapon.
You have the options of pleading guilty or not guilty in court for Break and Enter charges. It is recommended that you speak to our criminal defence lawyer before you enter a plea as this can affect the final result.
Going to court and being charged with Break and Enter can be a stressful and difficult experience, our criminal defence team is here to help you.
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