Housebreaking Offences in New South Wales
In New South Wales, there is a range of offences relating to housebreaking contained in the Crimes Act 1900. These offences are the equivalent of burglary offences in other states. This page deals with housebreaking offences in New South Wales.
Offences involving housebreaking are contained in sections 109 to 113 of the Crimes Act. They carry maximum penalties of between 10 and 25 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty that applies to each of these offences in its simple, aggravated and specially aggravated form is set out in the table below.
|Offence||Section||Maximum penalty||Maximum penalty for aggravated offence||Maximum penalty for specially aggravated offence|
|Breaking out of dwelling house||Section 109 ||20 years imprisonment||25 years imprisonment||-|
|Breaking, entering and assaulting with intent to murder||Section 110||25 years imprisonment||-||-|
|Entering dwelling house||Section 110||10 years imprisonment||14 years imprisonment||20 years imprisonment|
|Breaking into house and committing serious indictable offence||Section 112||14 years imprisonment||20 years imprisonment||25 years imprisonment|
|Breaking into house with intent to commit serious indictable offence||Section 113||10 years imprisonment||14 years imprisonment||20 years imprisonment|
What is ‘breaking’?
To be found guilty of an offence involving breaking into or out of a house, an accused must have broken some part of the house, such as a gate, lock, window, screen or door, in order to enter or exit the house.
What is a serious indictable offence?
In New South Wales, a serious indictable offence is any offence that carries a maximum penalty of more than five years imprisonment, including larceny, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sexual assault.
An offence is aggravated and attracts a longer penalty if it involves any of the following circumstances:
- The offender is armed with an offensive weapon or instrument;
- The offender is in company with another person;
- The offender uses corporal violence;
- The offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on a person;
- The offender deprives a person of their liberty
- The offender knows that a person is present in the place where the offence is to be committed.
Specially aggravated offences
An offence is specially aggravated if it involves any of the following circumstances:
- The offender intentionally wounded or inflicted grievous bodily harm on a person;
- The offender inflicts grievous bodily harm on a person and is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm;
- The offender is armed with a dangerous weapon.
Some housebreaking offences are Table 1 offences. Table 1 offences are generally dealt with in the lower court (Local Court and Children’s Court). However, the prosecutor or the accused may elect to have the matter committed to a higher court. In the lower courts, the maximum penalty that can be imposed for a single offence is two years imprisonment.
The following are Table 1 offences:
- Breaking out of dwelling house, after committing or entering with intent to commit, a serious indictable offence (under section 109) where the serious indictable offence is stealing or intentionally or recklessly destroying property and the value of the property involved does not exceed $60,000
- Entering dwelling house with intent to commit serious indictable offence (under section 111 or section 113) where the intended offence is stealing or damaging property.
- Breaking into a house and committing a serious indictable offence (under section 112) where the offence is stealing or damaging property worth not more than $60,000.
- Breaking and entering in company (under section 109, 111, 112, 113) where the offence is stealing or damaging property worth not more than $60,000 and there is no other circumstance of aggravation.
All other housebreaking offences are strictly indictable offences and must be dealt with in the District Court. If the accused pleads not guilty, the matter will be decided by a jury. If they are found guilty, a sentence will be imposed by a judge.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.