This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Burglary


Section 311 of the Criminal Code 2002 defines burglary broadly. A person commits the offence if they enter or remain in a building as a trespasser, with an intent to either steal property, commit an offence involving violence or property damage, or commit any offence carrying a penalty of at least five years’ imprisonment.

The definition of “building” includes part of a building, a mobile home or caravan, and a structure, vehicle or vessel that is used, designed or adapted for residential purposes.

The maximum penalty for burglary is a fine of 1400 penalty units and/or 14 years’ imprisonment.

What the Police Must Prove

The police must prove that you remained on the premises and that you intended to:

  • commit theft of property from those premises, or
  • commit another offence involving violence or property damage, or
  • commit any offence carrying a penalty of at least five years’ imprisonment.

Possible Defences to burglary

The common ways to defend this charge are:

  • to maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • to argue that you did not enter the house or premises;
  • to argue that you did not intend to steal anything;
  • to argue you did not intend to commit violence or property damage;
  • to argue you did not intend to commit any other offence carrying a penalty of at least five years’ imprisonment;
  • to raise necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

As burglary carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment, it is possible to have it remain in the Magistrates Court, as long as the court considers that the amount of the money or the value of the property involved (not including a motor vehicle) does not exceed $30 000 (under Section 375 of the Crimes Act 1900).

A court can impose any of the following penalties for this offence:

For advice or representation in any legal issue, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?

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