Have you been charged with the criminal offence of breaking in?
Are you facing allegations of burglary? Is the prospect of the trial and a possible prison sentence a daunting one for you? If you have answered ‘Yes’ to one or more of these questions then you have come to the right place for information and legal assistance. Burglary and breaking in offences are quite serious criminal offences. Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 requires proof that the offender broke into or entered the premises in question without authorisation and with the express purpose of stealing, inflicting GBH and or committing criminal damage.
The prosecutor will almost always seek to prove that the property allegedly broken into is a residential property. This further aggravates the seriousness of the offence, especially where it can further be established that the property had been occupied at the time. Burglary is an either way offence which can either be decided before the Magistrate’s Court or on indictment at the Crown Court. There is an important significance attached to where the case is heard and whether or not the offender will be pleading guilty.
Sentencing for Burglary
Burglary sentencing in the UK is dependent on the aggravating factors surrounding the case. Aggravated burglary, burglary dwelling involving harm or where the offender is armed may attract as high as 13 years custodial sentence. Non-dwelling burglary sentence can attract a 5 year prison term while unarmed burglary in a residential property will be punished by a maximum 6 year prison sentence. This new and more stringent sentencing guideline came into force recently in the UK and it means that offenders will find themselves facing more severe sentences than before. There are also non-custodial sentences where there are mitigating factors in the offender’s defence. These factors may include the fact that you are a first time offender or that you have no previous convictions.
Contact us today to speak to one of our highly qualified and extensively experienced London defence lawyers who will take you through the full process and provide you with unrivalled legal advice.