Break and Enter Charges
The offence of Breaking and Entering is defined in section 348 of the Criminal Code of Canada which reads,
s. 348(1) 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 and indictable offence therein, or|
|(c)||breaks out of a place after|
committing an indictable offence therein, or
entering the place with intent to commit an indictable offence therein,is guilty
|(d)||if the offence is committed in relation to a dwelling house, of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life, and|
|(e)||if the offence is committed in relation to a place other than a dwelling house, of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or of an offence punishable on summary conviction.|
If you are charged with the criminal offence of Break and Enter, you are presumed to be innocent. The Crown must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the evidentiary burden for all criminal offences. The Crown must prove both a “break” and “enter”, as well as an intention by the accused to commit an indictable offence, such as theft, in the place that has been broken and entered. For instance, if an individual lawfully enters a retail establishment and secretes themselves until after the establishment is closed, and then commits a theft, that person would be guilty of theft but not “break and enter”.
If the offence is committed in relation to a dwelling house the potential sentences range from that of a suspended sentence plus probation to that of life imprisonment. If the offence is committed in relation to a non-dwelling house then the available sentences range from a discharge to a maximum of ten years in jail.
There are many ways to successfully defend a charge of Break and Enter. It is in your best interest to have your case reviewed by an experienced criminal lawyer. At Kostman & Pyzer, Barristers, we have successfully defended numerous allegations of Break and Enter, by challenging the identification evidence or by raising a reasonable doubt as to the intention to commit an indictable offence within the place entered. In numerous cases we have been able to achieve a withdrawal of charges prior to trial on the basis that there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction”.
We pride ourselves on our litigation strategies and our ability to win difficult cases. We may challenge the admissibility of evidence on the basis that the police have infringed rights to counsel or perpetrated an unlawful search or seizure. We argue that such police impropriety should not be condoned by the Court, and the evidence should be excluded. We may challenge the delay in the legal process, arguing that our client has been unfairly prejudiced by the delay. More often, we work to raise a reasonable doubt on the testimonial evidence through skilled cross-examination.
At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers , we deliver skilled legal defence services for break and enter cases as well as young offenders cases.