Break and Enter: Break, Enter and Commit Serious Indictable Offence NSW
Break and enter offences in NSW include both;
- Break enter and commit serious indictable offence
- Break and enter with intent to commit serious indictable offence
A serious indictable offence is an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
Break and Enter is a serious crime for which you should seek an experienced criminal lawyer to represent your case.
NSW has the highest full-time imprisonment rate for break and enter offences.
Our criminal lawyers constantly beat these charges. Where the accused pleads guilty, our criminal law team consistently keep our clients out of jail and, depending on the seriousness of the allegation, get no convictions recorded. This means our clients avoid getting a criminal record.
We also have a strong track record of getting our clients’ lenient sentences for Break enter and commit serious indictable offence charges, especially where they are first offenders or people who have committed the offences under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
What is Break and Enter;
Break and Enter is dealt with in Section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It is defind as;
A person who:
- breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein; or
- being in any dwelling-house or other building commits any serious indictable offence therein and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
The word “Break” refers to the actual breaking of the security of the dwelling in order to gain access. That could include a door, gate, lock, window.
It can also be constructive where the intruder gains access by way of fraud, intimidation, threats or where they had unauthorised access and use of a key to the dwelling.
What makes a Break and Enter and commit serious indictable offence crime?
The offences committed once inside the dwelling or that were intended to be committed once inside the dwelling are what make Break and Enter and Commit a serious offence. The most common being break and enter and steal. The second serious indictable offence associated with this crime is assault.
What are the penalties for Break and Enter Offences?
A number of break and enter offences and their associated penalties are listed under Part 4, Div 1, Subdivision 4 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (“the Act”) as follows;
- break out of a dwelling-house after committing, or enter with intent to commit, an indictable offence (s 109, maximum penalty 14 years)
- break, enter and assault with intent to murder (s 110, maximum penalty 25 years)
- enter a dwelling house with intent to commit a serious indictable offence (s 111, maximum penalty 10 years)
- break, enter and commit a serious indictable offence (s 112, maximum penalty 14 years)
- break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence (s 113, maximum penalty 10 years)
- being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence (s 114, maximum penalty 7 years), and
- being a convicted offender armed with intent to commit an indictable offence (s 115, maximum penalty 10 years).
How do I beat a charge of Break, enter and commit serious indictable offence?
You will be found not guilty of the offence of Break, enter and commit serious indictable offence if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:
- You broke by ‘actual breaking’. The security of the house is infringed though there need not be any actual breaking of any object. It is not a breaking to further open a door or window which is partly open. Or ‘constructive breaking’ where entry is obtained by fraud, or threats, or by the use of a key which the person is not entitled to use.
- Entered (It must be proved that the accused was in the building or land).
- Committed (or with intent to commit) a serious indictable offence (an offence carrying a term of imprisonment of five years or more).
Pleading guilty to Break, enter and commit serious indictable offence
If you committed the offence and the police can prove so, we want to get you a better result than anyone else. We will often negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts, or even a less serious charge, so that you get a lighter sentence.
An offence of Break, enter and commit serious indictable offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment in the District Court or two years imprisonment if the matter is dealt with in the Local Court. These penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders.
Read more about sentencing and having no convictions recorded.
Do I need references character references for my court case?
Yes, if you are planning on entering a guilty plea to break and enter charges, having good character references is extremely important. Being prepared with good references will almost always make it possible to get more lenient sentences.
Visit our Court Processes and References page to find out how to write a good reference.
Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?
Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Break, enter and commit serious indictable offence. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail.
Australian Criminal Law Group represented a client who was charged with Break, enter and steal. His DNA was found on a cigarette in the property of a person whose house had been broken into. And their property was allegedly found on our client. Our criminal lawyer submitted that there was a reasonable hypothesis consistent with evidence, namely the cigarette had entered the yard either by the wind or on someone’s shoe. It was submitted there was no evidence the property (an iPod music player) was not linked to the victim by its serial number or even a music track list. The Magistrate found our client not guilty.
Criminal lawyer Joe Correy represented a client accused of breaking into a retail store in Westfield. CCTV showed someone sliding through a gap in a glass sliding door. Our client had been arrested with the safe of the store in his car following a police pursuit immediately after the store was entered. Our solicitor argued there was no evidence at all of a break because our client had simply walked in. The Magistrate agreed the offence had not been made out and our client was found not guilty.
Australian Criminal Law Group represented a client charged with breaking and entering an underground carpark in the company of two others. The police relied on CCTV to identify the client. Criminal lawyer Joe Correy argued that it was impermissible for the police officer to identify his client because that was the job of the Magistrate. The Magistrate agreed and said there was no way he could be sure that the person in the footage was our client. He found our client not guilty of all charges.
Australian Criminal Law Group represented a client charged with breaking and entering an RSL as part of a joint criminal enterprise with another person. It was alleged our client was a lookout sending text messages to another accused person to let them know the coast was clear. Criminal lawyer Joe Correy argued that it wasn’t unusual for young people to have their faces glued to their phones and the timing was no more than a coincidence. The Magistrate agreed and found our client not guilty.
Australian Criminal Law Group represented a client charged with Break and enter with intent to commit serious indictable offence. The evidence against the client consisted of a number of police officers identifying him from CCTV. The client also said in an interview that the person in the CCTV looked like him (but not admitting it was him). Our solicitor relied on legal principles that the police were in no better position than the magistrate to identify the accused. Therefore, their opinion of who was is the CCTV was irrelevant. The principle that a statement someone looks like someone is never enough to prove identification beyond reasonable doubt. The magistrate found our client not guilty.
Mr Harb represented a 21-year-old man who was charged with an aggravated break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence. Mr Harb was able to paint a more favourable picture for the accused. He cited significant provocation on the part of the alleged victim. Mr Harb convinced the court that his client was simply being a person looking to inflict damage on the property. The strong subjective material provided by the defence allowed for his client to receive no jail and only a good behaviour bond.
Mr Mercael represented a man charged with 25 offences including six aggravated break and enters and drug offences. Mr Mercael negotiated for half the charges to be withdrawn. Because the man was a lifelong drug user who wanted to change, he also had his client bailed from prison to drug court then a residential rehabilitation centre. He never went back to prison.