In Canada, break and enter is a serious criminal offence that involves unauthorized access to either a residential or commercial property with the intention of committing a crime within. This act violates the privacy and safety of both homes and businesses, encompassing everything from home invasions to unauthorized entry into company premises. 

Criminal Code Definition of Break and Enter

According to section 348 of the Criminal Code, an individual is guilty of break and enter if they forcibly enter a property with the aim to commit a crime, commit a crime once inside, or exit a property after committing a crime or with the initial intention to commit one.

348 (1) Everyone 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,

If you're facing accusations of break and enter, we're here to help. Contact us at (855) 585-1777 for a free consultation with a criminal defence lawyer.

Types of Break and Enter Offences

The Criminal Code distinguishes between break and enter offences based on the location of the incident:

  • Break and Enter into a Dwelling-House: These are treated with the utmost severity due to the direct impact on personal privacy and safety, potentially resulting in life imprisonment.
  • Break and Enter into Non-Dwelling Premises: This category includes breaking into commercial spaces, outbuildings, and similar structures, with consequences of up to 10 years imprisonment for serious cases, or lesser penalties for summary convictions.

For expert legal guidance and representation, call (855) 585-1777 to discuss your case with a criminal lawyer.

Penalties and Consequences for Break and Enter

The penalties for break and enter vary based on several criteria:

  • Location of the Incident: Offences involving homes typically result in stricter penalties.
  • Intent and Actions: The sentencing can be influenced by whether the break-in was meant to or resulted in additional criminal activities.

Break and enter is considered a hybrid offence, allowing for flexibility in prosecution depending on the severity of the actions:

  • Summary Conviction: For minor offences, punishments can include fines, probation, or up to two years less a day in jail.
  • Indictable Offence: More severe cases, especially those involving homes or significant crimes, may lead to life imprisonment.

Aggravated Factors

The presence of people in the home, use of violence, or involvement in organized crime can significantly affect sentencing.

Defence Strategies for Break and Enter Charges

Defending against break and enter charges requires a detailed legal approach, focusing on:

  • Disputing Intent: Arguing the absence of intent to commit a crime upon entry.
  • Challenging Identity: Questioning the accuracy of the identification of the accused.
  • Valid Reasoning or Permission: Proving lawful reasons or consent for entry.

For expert legal guidance and representation, call (855) 585-1777 to discuss your case with a criminal lawyer.

Don't Navigate Your Break and Enter Charge Alone

Facing a break and enter charge requires the expertise of a seasoned criminal defence lawyer to effectively navigate legal complexities, safeguard your rights, and craft a robust defence.

Looking for a Criminal Lawyer?

If you're dealing with a break and enter charge, don't delay in seeking professional assistance. Reach out to us at (855) 585-1777 to connect with a defence lawyer who will review your case and discuss your legal options.

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