phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Breaking and entering

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 26, 2005

In Reply to: Breaking and entering posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 24, 2005

: : What is the origin of the legal phrase: "Breaking and entering"?

: : It is a definition of burglary. "Breaking" means that you have technically had to use force to get in (e.g. pick the lock, break a pane of glass, whatever - you didn't just turn the handle to open the door) and "entering" means that you have actually entered the premises without the consent of the owner.

: I was a bit slapdash in my last post. Basically, simply "entering" someone's property is not in itself a criminal offence (though it may well be a civil wrong, e.g. trespass)if you don't have to use force to do so - if you just walk though an open door, for instance. However, "breaking" through the owner's locks and closures makes the act criminal.
"Burglary" is breaking and entering with the intent to steal, do damage, or harm anyone inside.

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