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Burglary and Robbery

What is Burglary?

Burglary occurs when a person enters or is in the place of another person, without that person’s consent, with intent to commit an offence while in that place.

Burglary also occurs when an offence is committed while in the place of another person.

Burglary can become more serious if one or more of the circumstances of aggravation are present:

  • Being armed or pretending to be armed with a weapon;
  • Being in possession or pretending to be in possession of explosive substance;
  • Being in company with others;
  • Doing bodily harm to the owner or occupier while inside;
  • Threatening to kill or injure the owner or occupier;
  • Detaining any person inside; and
  • Immediately before the offending, know or ought to have known there was another person inside.

What the Prosecution must prove

The Prosecution must prove the following:

  1. That you entered or were in the place of another person;
  2. That you did not have the consent of that person to be there; and
  3. That you intended on committing an offence OR that you actually committed an offence while in that place.

Consent to enter or be in the place of another person must be given freely and voluntarily, and cannot be obtained through threats or fraud.

Alternate Charge

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to make a submission to the prosecution that a lesser charge, such as trespass, be suitable.

Penalties for Burglary

The penalties for burglary vary depending on the circumstances of the offending, and whether or not a circumstance of aggravation is present.

The maximum sentence can range from 2 years imprisonment and a $24,000 fine in the Magistrates Court, to 20 years imprisonment in the District Court. Please contact us for the maximum penalty available for your particular charge, and for which court your matter will be heard in.

Three strikes mandatory sentencing

If you are convicted of three separate home burglaries, the court must sentence you to a term of immediate imprisonment of no less than 2 years. This sentence cannot be suspended.

What is Robbery

Robbery occurs when a person steals property and uses or threatens violence to any person or property in order to steal that thing.

Robbery can become more serious if one or more of the circumstances of aggravation are present:

  • Being in company with others;
  • Doing bodily harm to any person;
  • Threatening to kill any person; and
  • The person to whom violence or threats were used was over the age of 60.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery occurs when you commit robbery whilst being armed, or pretending to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon.

What the Prosecution must prove

The Prosecution must prove the following:

  1. That you stole a thing;
  2. That before, during or after stealing the thing you used or threatened violence against another person; and
  3. That the use or threat of violence was to obtain the stolen thing, or to overcome the person preventing you from stealing the thing.

If you are charged with Armed Robbery, the prosecution will also have to prove that there was a dangerous or offensive weapon involved.

Penalties for Robbery

For cases other than Armed Robbery, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment, or 20 years imprisonment where there are circumstances of aggravation present.

Armed Robbery carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Robbery will be heard in the District Court, whilst Armed Robbery will be heard in the Supreme Court.

 

Please call us on (08) 9500 8915 to book an initial consultation so that we can advise you on your particular charge of either burglary or robbery.

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