Breaking and Entering: Criminal Trespassing Laws in Canada

Canada, a country known for its safety and security, takes trespassing and breaking and entering offences very seriously. Criminal trespassing is a term used to describe unauthorized entry onto someone else’s property with the intent to commit a crime or cause harm. This article aims to provide an informative overview of criminal trespassing laws in Canada, the consequences individuals may face if found guilty of such offences, and the importance of seeking assistance from legal professionals such as a Brampton criminal defence law firm.

criminal trespassing laws

I. Understanding Criminal Trespassing Laws in Canada:

Criminal trespassing laws in Canada are established to protect individual’s property rights and maintain public safety. These laws are defined under the Criminal Code of Canada, specifically in Sections 348 to 349. According to these sections, criminal trespassing is considered an offence when an individual enters or remains unlawfully on another person’s property without permission.

  • Definition of Criminal Trespassing: Criminal trespassing encompasses various scenarios, such as entering a dwelling, building, or enclosed area without consent, or refusing to leave after being lawfully asked to depart.

  • Intent Matters: Prosecutors must prove that the trespasser had the intention to commit a crime, cause damage, or interfere with the lawful enjoyment of the property.

  • Ignorance is Not a Defense: Lack of knowledge about the property’s boundaries or ownership does not excuse the offense of criminal trespassing.

II. Consequences of Criminal Trespassing:

Criminal trespassing can lead to severe penalties and legal consequences. The severity of these consequences depends on factors such as the extent of the trespasser’s intent, any prior criminal history, and the nature of the property involved.

  • Misdemeanour or Felony: Criminal trespassing can be classified as either a misdemeanour or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the offence and the laws of the province in which the incident occurs.

  • Imprisonment: Conviction for criminal trespassing can result in imprisonment for up to two years for a summary conviction offence and up to ten years for an indictable offence.
  • Fines: In addition to imprisonment, trespassers may face substantial fines as per the court’s discretion.

  • Criminal Record: A criminal record can have far-reaching consequences, affecting employment opportunities, travel, and personal reputation.

III. Defenses Against Criminal Trespassing Charges:

While criminal trespassing is a serious offence, there are potential defences that individuals accused of this crime can use to challenge the charges. Understanding these defences is crucial when facing criminal trespassing accusations.

  • Consent: If the accused can prove that they had permission to enter or remain on the property, it could be a valid defence against the trespassing charges.

  • Mistake of Fact: Demonstrating an honest and reasonable belief that they were not trespassing, due to mistaken information or circumstances, can be a valid defence.

IV. The Role of a Brampton Criminal Defence Law Firm:

Navigating the legal complexities of criminal trespassing laws in Canada requires the expertise of a skilled criminal defence lawyer. A Brampton criminal defence law firm can provide valuable assistance and representation to individuals facing criminal trespassing charges.

  • Legal Expertise: A criminal defence lawyer from Brampton will possess in-depth knowledge of Canadian criminal law and its applications in trespassing cases.

  • Case Evaluation: The lawyer will carefully assess the facts surrounding the case, identify potential defenses, and build a strong strategy accordingly.

  • Negotiations and Representation: The lawyer will negotiate with the prosecution to seek a reduction in charges or explore alternatives to imprisonment. In cases where a trial is necessary, they will provide effective representation in court.


Criminal trespassing is a serious offense in Canada, and its consequences can be life-altering. Understanding the laws surrounding trespassing and seeking assistance from legal professionals such as a Brampton criminal defence law firm are crucial steps in safeguarding one’s rights and ensuring a fair legal process.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal trespassing charges, do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a reputable Brampton criminal defence law firm.