Aggravated Break And Enter – s 112(2) Crimes Act 1900

Aggravated break and enter is a serious offence which carries heavy penalties. It is a stressful time for both you and family, which is why it is important to speak to a team of experienced sydney criminal defence lawyers to give you accurate advice on any possible realistic defences available to you.

Our experienced specialist defence lawyers are leaders in the field with the highest percentage of success rate in fighting to prove innocence in court, especially getting charges dropped and downgraded.

We have the highest proven rate of success, in fact, we managed to achieve a non conviction (section 10) for our client who had broke into an American apparel clothing store in the City only a few months before he was held hostage in the Martin Place Lindt siege by Man Horan Monis on 15.12.2014. See media coverage of this.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Break and Enter Lawyer.

Your Options in Court

You will be found not guilty if police are unable to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, any one or more of the following elements of the offence of aggravated break and enter to commit serious indictable offence:

  1. You broke and entered into the house or building.
    • Here, there does not need to be an actual breaking of an object when you enter. It is considered ‘breaking’ where, for example, you un-latch a window that was already open, or you open a door that was closed but un-locked.
  2. You then committed an offence that carries a penalty of 5 or more years of imprisonment.
    • This element can include a range of offences from assault charges, sexual assault, stealing, to murder so long as the offence alleged carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment of more.
  3. It occurred in circumstances amounting to “aggravation” which include any one of the following:
    • You were armed with an offensive weapon
    • You were in company with another person or number of people
    • You used corporal violence on any person
    • You intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm on any person
    • You deprive any person of their liberty
    • Before going into the house or building, you knew there were people in there.

Defences to this charge

You are NOT GUILTY to this charge if any one of the following apply to your case:

  • There is no “aggravating circumstance” in your case.
  • You did not commit any offence that carries a penalty of 5 years imprisonment or more. For example, if you broke and entered into the premises but once inside you committed an offence of common assault which carries a maximum penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment.
  • You either did not enter the building or had no intention to enter it.
  • Where the serious indictable offence alleged is stealing, and you honestly believed you had a right to the item(s) taken. This is known as a claim of right (R v Lopatta (1983)).
  • Other possible defences include duress or necessity.
  • You did not commit a ‘breaking’ when entering the building. For example, It is not a ‘breaking’ where you further open an already partly opened door or window (R v Lackey [1954]).

There are 2 types of ‘breaking’:

1. Actual breaking, where the security of the building or house is infringed, but there does not need to be an actual breaking of an object.

2. Constructive breaking, where entry is obtain by fraud, threats or by use of a key which you are not allowed to use. It is not a breaking where you believed you had authority to enter the house or building.

Our focus is on first getting charges dropped at an early stage so that your case won’t need to go all the way to a hearing or trial, saving you money and time. Our senior criminal lawyers are leaders in the field with an exceptionally high success rate of getting charges dropped, and proving innocence in court.

Speak to them now by calling (02) 8606 2218 for experienced and realistic advice on your best defence.

Before pleading guilty, speak to a senior Sydney criminal defence lawyer as early in your case as possible. Doing so can significantly reduce your punishment by preparing your case in it’s early stages to maximise your chances at the best possible outcome.

The following is a guide on how to prepare and  maximise your chances at getting the most lenient possible punishment, and avoid prison.

25% discount on punishment

Pleading guilty at the earliest possible time in your case will entitle you to a discount on your punishment of up to 25%. An early plea of guilty can also be an expression of remorse giving you further leniency and a much better result in court.

For this reason, it’s critical to get fast, realistic and experienced advice as early on in your case as possible to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome.

Good character references

A good character reference should be obtained from people who know you. This can include your employer, work colleagues, family, charity and even a letter of apology from you.

Each reference, if true, should express your remorse, insight, embarrassment and the good things the reference has seen you do in the past which will allow the Judge to further reduce your punishment. It can express your otherwise good character.

Our team of specialist criminal lawyers regularly read, review and provide detailed feedback on character references for their clients before each one is handed to the Judge to read. A powerful character reference can result in a more lenient punishment.

Negotiate to drop charges

Our senior specialist criminal lawyers have successfully convinced police to downgrade and even drop charges for over 20 years on countless occasions resulting in exceptional outcomes.

This can be achieved by carefully reading and analysing the police evidence, picking out all the gaps in the evidence before strategically approaching police with reasons why the charges should be dropped or downgraded to a less serous charge attracting a much more lenient punishment.

Negotiate facts

You can always negotiate the facts before and after a plea of guilty to aggravated break and enter charges. The benefit of this is tremendous because the leniency or seriousness of the punishment the Judge gives you will largely depend on the police facts which is usually initially drafted by the police and can often be one sided, not completely truthful putting you in the worst light.

By negotiating and changing the police facts for the Judge to read you can ensure it reflects the truth, and portray you in a better way. This can result in a significantly lighter punishment to you, avoiding prison.

Psychologist reports

It may be worth while getting a powerful court report from a expert psychologist or psychiatrist expressing your remorse, contrition, your perception of why you committed the offence and most importantly whether you were suffering a mental condition at the time of committing the offence which can significantly reduce your punishment, even avoid going to prison.

Our specialist criminal lawyers have hand selected the best leading psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia who produce powerful and compelling reports to the Judge. Your senior lawyer will refer you to the best suited expert required for your case, then tailor a number of detailed questions for the expert to answer and incorporate into your final report.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty that the District Court can impose for this offence is up to 14 years imprisonment. The Courts generally do not give out maximum punishments, in fact, the maximum is reserved for the most serious offenders. The courts like to avoid full time prison where possible and only impose prison as a measure of last resort. Below are other options of punishment the Judge can give.

Types of penalties

There are many penalty options available other than full time imprisonment.

The type of punishment you end up getting depends mainly depends on the factors explained above.

Penalties the court can impose on you include any one of the following:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

Our highly experienced Sydney criminal defence lawyers are extremely well versed with the law on aggravated break and enter. They regularly appear in court with exceptional results, which include section 10 non convictions and getting charges dropped or downgraded. Their experience and determination have seen them attain a proven high success rate in and out of court with a focus on first negotiating to drop your charges.


This is where you break and enter into a house or building where you then commit any criminal offence (as long as the offence you commit once inside is one that carries a penalty of 5 years or more imprisonment i.e. stealing), in circumstances of aggravation.