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Break And Entering

What the law says

Sections 418 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. A person who breaks any part, whether external or internal, of a dwelling or any premises, or opens, by unlocking, pulling, pushing, lifting, or any other means whatever, any door, window, shutter, cellar, flap, or other thing, intended to close or cover an opening in a dwelling or any premises, or an opening giving passage from one part of a dwelling or any premises, or an opening giving passage from one part of the dwelling to another, is said to break the dwelling or premises.
  2. A person is said to enter a dwelling or premises as soon as any part of the person's body or any part of any instrument used by the person is within the dwelling or premises.
  3. A person who obtains entrance into a dwelling or premises by means of any threat or artifice used for that purpose, or by collusion with any person in the dwelling or premises, or who enters any chimney or other aperture of the dwelling or premises permanently left open for any purpose, but not intended to be ordinarily used as a means of entrance, is deemed to have broken and entered the dwelling or premises.

is guilty of a crime.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

The accused:

  1. enters or is in;
  2. the dwelling of another
  3. with intent to commit an indictable offence in the dwelling

N.B. An indictable offence includes stealing, assault, rape etc.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Break and Entering is life imprisonment depending of the circumstances stances of the offence.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable and can be dealt with in the Magistrates or District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity
  3. Intoxication
  4. Identification-not the accused
  5. Honest claim of right to be in the property
  6. Seal of the property was not broken
  7. Person did not enter the property
  8. Consent

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts a Queensland (criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Burglary matters)

 

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