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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.
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:
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.
Aggravated burglary is a wide-ranging offence and numerous situations might trigger prosecution. Here are some examples:
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:
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.
Robbery and aggravated burglary are both serious crimes in the UK, but they have some important differences:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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