Section 112 Crimes Act | Break Enter Commit Serious Indictable Offence


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There are several offences under the Crimes Act in relation to “break and enter” offences.

One of the more common break and enter offences is contained in section 112, which deals with the offence of “breaking into a house and committing a serious indictable offence.”

This covers the common situation of “break, enter and steal.”

Although this offence has the potential to result in lengthy penalties, our expert criminal lawyers can give you the assistance you need when it comes to fighting the charges in court.

To be found guilty of an offence under section 112, the prosecution must prove that you broke into someone’s house and that you committed a serious indictable offence while you were inside.

A serious indictable offence is any offence which carries a gaol term of at least 5 years’ imprisonment.

Examples of serious indictable offences include larceny, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sexual assault, however there are many more under the Crimes Act.

A ‘break and enter’ is where you break into and enter private property without the owner’s permission.

You do not have to physically break into a house in order to commit this offence; you can still be charged with a break and enter if you enter through an unlocked but closed door, gate or window.

However, you will not be found guilty of a break and enter if you simply enter through an open gate, door or window.

If you’re found guilty of “breaking into a house and committing a serious indictable offence,” you could face a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

You could face a harsher maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment if you commit this offence in “circumstances of aggravation.” These are simply factors which make the offence more serious.

There are six possible circumstances of aggravation under the law:

  • Where you were armed with an offensive weapon or instrument;
  • Where you were in the company of another person/s at the time of the offence;
  • Where you inflict corporal (physical) violence upon another person;
  • Where you intentionally or recklessly inflict actual bodily harm on another person;
  • Where you deprive another person of their liberty (for example, by tying them up, holding them captive, or locking them up);
  • You knew that there were people inside the house.

You could also face a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment if you commit the offence in “circumstances of special aggravation.”

There are three possible circumstances of aggravation under the law:

  • Where you intentionally wound or inflict grievous bodily harm (really serious harm) upon another person;
  • Where you recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm upon another person;
  • Where you are armed with a dangerous weapon such as a firearm or spear gun.

If you have been charged with any offence under section 112, our highly experienced criminal defence team can help you fight the charges and secure a positive outcome.

For more information on ‘break and enter’ offences, see our offences page here.

The Legislation

112 Breaking etc into any house etc and committing serious indictable offence

(1) A person who:

(a) breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein, or

(b) 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.

(2) Aggravated offence A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

(3) Specially aggravated offence A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (2) in circumstances of special aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

As Sydney’s leading criminal defence lawyers, the lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers frequently appear in break and enter matters and have an in-depth knowledge of this often complex area of the law.

Unlike other law firms, who may let inexperienced junior lawyers represent you in these matters, we guarantee that you will only be represented by one of our highly respected senior lawyers who have a proven track record of winning these cases.

We will advise you of all your options from the outset; including any possible defences to the charges, for example, where you were coerced or threatened into committing the offence.

If you wish to plead guilty, our dedicated lawyers will work hard to ensure that you get the best possible penalty in the circumstances by adducing all evidence that highlights any positive factors, such as your good character or lack of prior offending.

These serious charges demand the experience and insight of an experienced lawyer. So call us on (02) 9261 8881 and get Sydney’s best criminal lawyers on your side today.