Break & Enter is a crime under section 348 of the Criminal Code. If you or a loved one has been accused of the crime, it is important that you know everything about it as this will help you in your defence. Under the law, you are guilty of Break & Enter:
• If you break and enter a commercial or private residence with the intent to commit an indictable offence
• If you break and enter and commit an indictable offence
• If you break out of a place after committing an indictable offence
• If you enter a place with the intent to commit an indictable offence
• If you break and enter a place with the intent to steal a firearm located in it
• If you break and enter a place and steal a firearm located in it
• If you break out of a place after stealing a firearm located in it
• If you enter a place with the intent to steal a firearm located in it
At Costa Law Firm, we have been defending clients accused of Break & Enter cases for many years. You should hire us because:
Putting up a good defence is important because the penalties for Break & Enter are hefty. Section 348 (1) (d) of the Criminal Code states “If the offence is committed in relation to a dwelling-house, of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.” Section 348 (1) (e) states “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.” For summary dispositions, the maximum sentence is 18 months jail term or a $5,000 fine for a non-dwelling residence.
The evidence in most Break & Enter cases is circumstantial. If you have been found with the stolen items at some later time, the Crown will try to establish guilt using the doctrine of recent possession. We, on the other hand, will try to create reasonable doubt in your defence.
We will attempt to poke holes in the Crown prosecutor’s case because the law states he has to prove the following elements, among several others:
• Your identity as the culprit
• The time and date you purportedly committed the crime
• The jurisdiction of the incident
• That you entered into the premises
• That you had no justification to enter the premises or permission to do so
• Ownership of goods taken
• Amount of damage done
• Ownership of the place
• Condition of the place before the break-in
• Whether the place was a dwelling-house
Section 321 also defines “constructive” breaking, where you simply walk in through the door. If there was no actual “breaking”, we will put forth this argument.
Section 350 (b) (ii) requires you to prove lawfulness of entry. However, several jurisdictions have found this to be unconstitutional and we will put forth this argument if the Crown prosecutor uses the clause.
Call us today for a free 20-minute consultation with a criminal lawyer Toronto on 416-535-6329.