Aggravated Burglary

Burglary, the offence of entering the dwelling of another person with the intention to commit a crime, is created by section 419(1) of the Queensland Criminal Code and, in its least serious form punishable by 14 years imprisonment.

The term “dwelling” has a wide meaning under the Act and includes a building or even part of a building used as a residence, regardless if it is occasionally uninhabited.

If the offence is committed in any one of the five (5) aggravated circumstances contained in the Queensland Criminal Code, then a maximum penalty of life imprisonment also applies.

The Offence of Aggravated Burglary

Section 419(3) of the Queensland Criminal Code follows on from subsection (1) and (2) and adds:

If –

  • The offence is committed in the night’ or
  • The offender –
    • Uses or threatens to use actual violence; or
    • Is or pretends to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon. Instrument or noxious substance; or
    • Is in company with 1 or more persons; or
    • Damages, or threatens or attempts to damage, any property.

The offender is liable to imprisonment for life.

Aggravated burglary is, therefore, the offence of entering a dwelling with the intent to commit an offence when it occurs in any one of the abovementioned circumstances.

What Actions Might Constitute Aggravated Burglary?

  • Entering an unlocked door of a neighbours house at midnight
  • Climbing through a window of a house with a baseball bat in hand
  • Damaging your neighbours television in their living room for not repaying money lent to them

What the Police Must Prove

In circumstances of aggravated burglary, the Police must prove three things in order for you to be convicted:

  • That you entered the dwelling of another;
  • That you did so with the intent to commit an offence; and
  • That the offence you intended to commit was an indictable offence.
  • One of the aggravated circumstances applied.

Possible Defences for the Offence of Aggravated Burglary

A charge of aggravated burglary may be defended by arguing:

  • That the accused didn’t have the necessary intent to commit an indictable offence
  • That the premises was not a dwelling
  • That the accused didn’t enter the dwelling
  • That the accused acted under duress
  • There were no aggravating circumstances

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

An offence of aggravated burglary will be heard and determined in the District Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


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.


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