Breaking and Entering

Breaking and Entering

A B&E (Breaking and Entering) does not necessarily require any breaking. The crutch of the offence is having purposely entered a place that you should not have entered, and having done so with the intent to commit any offence. A “place” is defined by, basically, any structure or enclosure.

“Entering” occurs when any part of a person or any instrument controlled by them, enters a place they are not permitted to be.

The court and legislation deem your home to be your sanctuary, where a person should feel safe and secure. The courts consider “home invasions” to be especially bad and will impose a more severe sentence if the accused knew that the home was occupied and used violence or threats of violence to gain entry. If you are convicted of a Break and Enter, even if it is of commercial property as opposed to one’s home, most often jail sentences arise. The charge is punishable up to life imprisonment.

If you are charged with Break and Enter, often, cases can be won by attacking the reliability of the Prosecution’s identification evidence. At East Law we have extensive experience in attacking fingerprint evidence (or friction ridge analysis), as well as DNA evidence. This sort of attack often leads to successful results in Break and Enter cases.

Unlawfully in a Dwelling Occurs when the accused is in the dwelling/house when the owner or patron has revoked their permission for them to be there. They do not need to have broken in for this to be considered a crime, it arises when one simply does not leave when asked to do so. The maximum term of imprisonment for this offence is 10 years in jail.

Possessing instruments suitable for breaking into a place, vehicle, or a safe or vault can be punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. It all depends on whether you have a reasonable excuse to possess the instruments. Almost any tool or item (hammer, prybar, drill, etc), it just depends on if the court decides if it was being used to break in somewhere.

It is a crime to wear a disguise with intent of committing an offence. The charge is punishable up to 10 years imprisonment.

Break and Enter offences are fact-specific, often depending on voluminous evidence or disclosure such as forensics, DNA analysis, friction ridge analysis (fingerprints), surveillance etc. Often, a methodical and meticulous review of ALL materials is required to successfully defend such cases. East Law has defended countless break and enter charges.


    John East


    B.A. (Hons), M.A., J.D.

    John East lives for a fight. He is not afraid to throw a punch and is certainly not afraid to take a punch. He then became a Criminal Defence Lawyer. Having spent many years working on a farm, John East understands that hard work is what wins out at the end of the day. He applies this motto to every case that he defends, no matter what.