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Breaking Out of a Dwelling-House After a Serious Indictable Offence

Breaking out of a dwelling-house after a serious indictable offence is a crime under section 109(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You entered the dwelling-house of another person intending to commit a serious indictable offence, or you committed a serious indictable offence while in a dwelling-house, and
  2. You then broke out of the dwelling-house.

A ‘dwelling-house’ includes:

  1. A building or other structure intended for occupation even if it has never been occupied
  2. A boat or vehicle in which a person resides, and
  3. A building or structure that is ancillary to a dwelling-house which is occupied or whose use is related to the dwelling-house.

A ‘building’ includes a vehicle, vessel, tent or temporary structure.

A ‘serious indictable offence’ is one which carries a maximum penalty of at least 5 years in prison, which includes larceny, robbery, intentional damage, and most other property offences.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self Defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity.

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