What is Break and Enter?
Break and Enter charges are very and involve many variables. Generally, Break and Enter charges relate to residential homes or commercial places of business. The offence involves the accused entering into a place with the intention of committing an indictable offence.
In spite of what the name suggests, one need not actually “break” or force entry to be charged with this criminal offence. Indeed, walking through an open door has been held to constitute a “Break and Enter.” Moreover, a conviction is not contingent upon any damage to the property entered.
Break and Enters are generally committed by people attempting to steal property. By doing so, they commit the indictable offence of Theft while Breaking and Entering. If an accused does not have the intention to commit an indictable offence, but unlawfully enters a premise, he or she may be committing other offences in the Criminal Code.
It is imperative to have an experienced lawyer represent your rights. Break and Enter is a serious criminal offence, with severe potential penalties.
In sentencing for a Break and Enter case, section 348.1 of the Criminal Code requires a judge to consider as an aggravating fact that a home was occupied and violence was used or threatened at the time of the offence. This is commonly known as a “home invasion.” While there is no offence in the Criminal Code called a “home invasion,” the sentencing ranges for these types of facts are significant.
The maximum punishment for Break and Enter in this case is up to life imprisonment. If the offence is in relation to a place other than a home, the term for imprisonment if convicted can range from a criminal record to 10 years in jail depending on how the Crown proceeds with the case.
Caramanna Friedberg LLP has successfully represented hundreds of Break and Enter cases. Contact us 24/7 to find out how we can ensure you have the most comprehensive defence possible.
See also our section on robbery and theft