Clicky

Break and Enter

Under the law, know that you may have several valid defenses to your break and enter charge, including the violation of your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Entering a plea of guilty to a charge of break and enter can have profoundly serious consequences. The stigma of a criminal record, the hardship of being “processed” through our criminal justice system, the potential consequences for your work, your family, your reputation, and at worst, your freedom are significant. Know your rights.

If you or a friend or family member have been charged with break and enter, contact the firm at 1-888-524-8475. Your first consultation is always free.

What is breaking and entering under the Criminal Code?

The definition of “breaking and entering” under Section 348. (1) is broad and covers every one who (a) breaks and enters a place with intent to commit an indictable offence therein, (b) breaks and enters a place and commits an indictable offence therein, or (c) breaks out of a place after (i) committing an indictable offence therein, or (ii) entering the place with intent to commit an indictable offence therein.

It is the responsibility of the Crown to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused had the intent to commit an indictable offence within the place entered. Note that the Criminal Code also has a distinct charge of Trespassing at Night, which is governed by Section 177.

What is the possible punishment for breaking and entering?

If the offence is committed in relation to a dwelling-house, the possible punishment is imprisonment for life. If the offence is committed in relation to a place other than a dwelling-house, an accused is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Are the circumstances different if the breaking and entering occurred at someone’s house?

The court imposing sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that a dwelling-house was occupied at the time of the commission of the offence and that the person, in committing the offence, knew that or was reckless as to whether the dwelling-house was occupied and used violence or threats of violence to a person or property.

What is the charge of being unlawfully in dwelling-house?

Under Section 349. (1) Every person who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on that person, enters or is in a dwelling-house with intent to commit an indictable offence in it is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

What is the charge of possession of break-in instrument?

Under Section 351., every one who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on them, has in their possession any instrument suitable for the purpose of breaking into any place, motor vehicle, vault or safe under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the instrument has been used or is or was intended to be used for such a purpose,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

What is disguise with intent?

Every one who, with intent to commit an indictable offence, has his face masked or coloured or is otherwise disguised is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

What is possession of instruments for breaking into coin-operated or currency exchange devices?

Every one who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, has in his possession any instrument suitable for breaking into a coin-operated device or a currency exchange device, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the instrument has been used or is or was intended to be used for breaking into a coin-operated device or a currency exchange device, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Recent Posts