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What is the sentence for Aggravated Burglary?

Being charged with a crime as serious as aggravated burglary is a very worrisome and stressful experience. Understandably, you might be wondering what could happen next and whether you might go to prison. Like others in your position, you probably also have a laundry list of questions in your mind about the offence itself and how it is handled in the criminal justice system. In this article, we outline the offence of aggravated burglary and answer some of the most pressing questions those accused usually have. As ever, if you have been charged with an offence, you must secure the advice of a qualified and experienced criminal defence solicitor.

Is aggravated burglary a serious offence?

Yes, aggravated burglary is considered a serious offence in the UK. Under Section 10 of the Theft Act 1968, aggravated burglary is defined as breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime, while in possession of a weapon or to cause injury. This is considered a more serious offence than simple burglary, which is defined as breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime.

Under the Theft Act, a ‘weapon’ is considered to be:

  • a ‘firearm’, which includes an airgun or air pistol, or an ‘imitation firearm’, which is anything that looks like a firearm, whether it can be fired or not.
  • a ‘weapon of offence’ is any object that is made or modified for causing injury or incapacitation to a person, or is intended by the person carrying it for such use.
  • an ‘explosive’ is any object made to produce a practical effect through explosion or intended by the person carrying it for that purpose.

Aggravated burglary is so serious that it carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. As always, the exact sentence you receive if found guilty will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the severity of the crime. Factors that may be taken into account include the use or threatened use of violence, the type of weapon used, and any injuries caused to the occupants of the dwelling during the burglary.

What classes as aggravated burglary?

Aggravated burglary is a wide-ranging offence and numerous situations might trigger prosecution. Here are some examples:

  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling to steal valuable property, while armed with an imitation gun.
  • Breaking and entering a dwelling to attack or harm the occupants, while armed with a baseball bat.
  • Breaking and entering a dwelling to commit a crime, while in possession of a weapon that is specifically designed to cause serious injuries, such as a firearm or knife.
  • Breaking and entering a dwelling to commit a crime and causing serious injury to the occupants during the commission of the crime.

What is the sentence for aggravated burglary?

Being such a serious crime, the offence of aggravated burglary is triable only on indictment, which means it will only be tried in the Crown Court. If found guilty, or if you plead guilty, the maximum sentence you can receive is life imprisonment.

That said, as with other crimes, the court will take numerous factors into account in sentencing. A lesser sentence will be given if it can be proven that the offender:

  • did not steal anything, or only stole property of low value to the victim (whether economic, commercial, cultural, or personal)
  • made voluntary reparation to the victim
  • played a lesser or subordinate role if acting with others or performed a limited role under direction
  • has no previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • showed remorse
  • has a good character and/or has demonstrated exemplary conduct
  • has taken steps to address addiction or offending behaviour
  • has a physical disability or serious medical condition requiring urgent, intensive, or long-term treatment
  • has a mental disorder or learning disability that was not related to the commission of the crime
  • is young and/or lacks maturity
  • is the sole or primary caregiver for dependent relatives

Can you get a suspended sentence for burglary?

Yes, it is possible to receive a suspended sentence for burglary in the UK. A suspended sentence is a sentence that is deferred, or ‘suspended’, for a specific period of time. If the offender completes the terms of the suspended sentence, the sentence is not imposed, and the offender does not have to serve time in prison.

Note, however, that a suspended sentence is not guaranteed for any type of crime, and the court has the discretion to decide whether to impose a suspended sentence or a custodial sentence in a particular case. It is also important to note that a suspended sentence is still considered a criminal conviction and can have serious consequences, including the loss of certain rights and privileges.

What is the difference between robbery and aggravated burglary?

Robbery and aggravated burglary are both serious crimes in the UK, but they have some important differences:

  • Robbery is defined as taking property from another person using force or the threat of force. It is a specific type of theft that involves violence or the threat of violence.
  • Aggravated burglary is defined as breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime, while in possession of a weapon or to cause injury.

One key difference between the two crimes is that robbery involves the taking of property from a person, while aggravated burglary involves breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime – no actual taking of property needs to occur. Additionally, robbery can be committed in any location, while aggravated burglary is specifically limited to dwellings.

Why is it called aggravated burglary?

The term ‘aggravated’ is often used in criminal law to describe offences that are more serious than the base offence. For example, aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault that involves the use of a weapon or the intent to cause serious bodily harm. Similarly, aggravated robbery is a more serious form of robbery that involves the use of a weapon or the threat of violence.

As such, aggravated burglary is considered a more serious offence than simple burglary.

How many years do you get for burglary in the UK?

Under Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968, burglary is defined as breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. This is different from aggravated burglary in that the former does not involve the use of a weapon.

If the offender is convicted of domestic burglary, the maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment. The least serious cases may be punished by community service. The full sentencing guidelines are available here.

What’s the difference between breaking and entering and burglary?

Breaking and entering and burglary are two different crimes that are often confused. Breaking and entering refers to the act of illegally entering a building or other enclosed structure without permission. This can include entering through an open window or door or using force to enter a locked structure.

Burglary, on the other hand, is a specific type of crime that involves breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. A dwelling is defined as a place that is used as a home, such as a house, apartment, or other residence. The crime of burglary requires an intention to commit a crime, such as theft, once inside the dwelling.

So, while breaking and entering can be a standalone crime, burglary requires both breaking and entering and the intention to commit a crime. Burglary is considered a more serious offence than simple breaking and entering and carries a higher maximum sentence.

What is aggravated criminal damage?

Aggravated criminal damage is a more serious form of criminal damage, which is defined as intentionally or recklessly causing damage to the property of another person. Aggravated criminal damage is defined as causing damage to property while in possession of an offensive weapon, or with intent to endanger life.

What is the maximum sentence for aggravated criminal damage?

The maximum sentence for aggravated criminal damage is life imprisonment, but as with all crimes, the actual sentence will depend on the harm caused and culpability (i.e. blameworthiness) of the offender. Factors that may be taken into account in determining the sentence include the value of the property damaged, the extent of the damage, and any injuries caused to owners of the property or other victims.

Where to get more help with an aggravated burglary offence?

If you are facing potential charges for aggravated burglary, it is crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced theft solicitor. The right legal representation will greatly impact the outcome of the case, and if the circumstances permit, a solicitor might be able to get your case dropped before it goes to trial. The team at Stuart Miller Solicitors has extensive experience handling theft, robbery, and burglary cases and can provide valuable guidance on how to proceed. If you would like to have an honest and unbiased conversation about your options, please get in touch.

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