A break and enter, also known as burglary or B and E, is defined as when anyone breaks and enters a place with intent of committing an indictable offence, or does commit an indictable offence. This includes a house (also known as a dwelling house), building or structure, a railway vehicle, vessel, aircraft or trailer (all considered a non-dwelling house). A break and enter charge does not require a person to commit any property damage. The most serious form of a break and enter is known as a “home invasion”. This occurs when the accused did the act while knowing that there were people present and was prepared to use force against them in a robbery-like fashion.

The most common charges under a break and enter offence:

  • Breaking and Entering with Intent, Committing Offense or Breaking-Out (dwelling house; non-dwelling house) – Criminal Code section 348
  • Being Unlawfully in a Dwelling House – Criminal Code section 349
  • Trespassing – Criminal Code section 177

The Penalties

  • Criminal record
  • Life in prison (dwelling house offence); Jail time of up to 10 years (non-dwelling house offence)
  • Probation
  • Fine of up to $5000

Common Questions

What will happen if I plead guilty?

The penalty for a break and enter depends on the place in which the offence occurred. If the break and enter occurred in: (1) A home; Maximum of life imprisonment. (2) A building or commercial structure; up to 10 years imprisonment. It is strongly suggested you speak with a lawyer to determine the best possible outcome for your case.