Forcible entry means to enter a person’s property by force and against the occupants wishes. It usually involves taking possession of a house, other structure, or land by using physical force or serious threats against the occupants. This can include:
- breaking open windows, doors, or other parts of a house; or
- using terror to gain entry; or
- forcing the occupants out by threat or violence after having entered peacefully.
The term is also sometimes used for entry by military, police, or emergency personnel. As explained by the Connecticut Fire Academy, forcible entry is the technique used by the fire department to gain access to a structure whose normal means of access is locked, blocked or non-existent.
[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]