Burglary, Robbery, Theft & Handling

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Have you or a loved one been arrested for a robbery offence? Get in touch with DPP Law’s expert team in any of our local offices, including London, Bootle and Liverpool.

If you’ve been accused of burglary, robbery, theft or handling stolen goods, contact DPP Law immediately. We can also advise on appeals and confiscation orders.

What are Theft, Robbery, and Burglary?

Theft is defined as the taking of someone else’s property without consent. It is one of the most commonly committed crimes and does not involve breaking, entering, using force, or fear. Robbery, in contrast, is theft through the use of fear or force.

Burglary also involves the unlawful taking of property. However, the criminal act of burglary also precludes the act of trespassing, breaking into a building without consent to commit a crime.

What is the Maximum Sentence for Theft?

The question of intent is the main variable in cases of theft. However, the type and value of the property stolen will also contribute towards determining the charges. Generally, each crime will be put into the category of petty or grand theft depending on these specific factors.

The maximum sentence for theft is seven years in custody, depending on the circumstances of the act. However, this sentence may be increased if there are further components of the crime.

What is the Maximum Sentence for Robbery?

As previously mentioned, theft through the use of force or fear is known as robbery. So that the court may define clear tiers to tie in with robbery sentencing guidelines, your case will usually fall into one of three classes: street robbery or mugging, small business robbery and commercial robbery. There are also three levels of perceived “seriousness”.

  • Level 1: Robbery with minimal force.
  • Level 2: Robbery with the use of a weapon.
  • Level 3: Robbery involving the use of a weapon and a lot of force or serious injury.

If found guilty, you’ll be charged by these criteria.

If you are caught in possession of items that may be used to commit the crime in question, it could be considered that you were going equipped for theft. This factor, along with those of the nature of the victim and the value of the items stolen, will also affect the sentence handed down.

Robbery sentencing guidelines state that custodial sentences begin at four or five years. Robbery with a weapon is classed as armed robbery and can lead to life imprisonment.

What is the Maximum Sentence for Burglary?

While theft is the most common offence connected with burglary, other crimes committed can range from assault to criminal damage or rape. Burglary is classed as an ‘either way offence’ – meaning it could be taken to either Magistrates Court or Crown Court, and a person can be charged with it regardless of whether a crime was committed.

The maximum sentence for burglary equates to 14 years in prison, although aggravated burglary, when the perpetrator is armed with a firearm, can lead to a life sentence.

Punishment for Handling Stolen Goods or Receiving Stolen Goods

Even if a person was not directly involved in a theft, robbery or burglary, if they hold, store, transport or hide the items that were stolen, buy them from the perpetrator or accept them as a gift in the knowledge that they were obtained through crime, they will also be prosecuted.

Handling stolen goods sentencing depends on the level of culpability the offender is considered to have – A: high culpability, B: medium culpability or C: lesser culpability.

This depends on the significance of the role the individual is considered to have taken in the offence, the level of knowledge of the primary offence of theft, robbery or burglary, and what the offender did after receiving the stolen goods (i.e. hid them, sold them, used them), any abuse of power or trust involved and the level of expertise with which the offence was carried out.

The value of the items handled and the level of harm caused are also categorised from levels 1-4, with 1 being the most serious.

The most severe sentence for receiving or handling stolen goods is 14 years in prison.

What are Some Theft and Burglary Related Offences?

Other offences that a person may be charged with along with theft, robbery, burglary or the handling or receiving of stolen goods include:

  • Making off without payment
  • Fraud by false representation
  • Burglary based on criminal damage or assault
  • Taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent
  • Blackmail
  • Advertising rewards for the return of goods stolen or lost (if the advert uses any words to the effect that no questions will be asked)
  • Going equipped for burglary or theft
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated burglary

Defences Against A Robbery Charge

All defences begin with seeing if the prosecution can find a case against the defendant. This includes highlighting evidence of key factors of the offence, with a robbery offence including the use or threat of force.

Beyond this, the prosecution must also be able to prove that there was an attempted or successful theft.

As for the defence, acting under duress or being able to secure a less serious sentence is often used. This can lower the severity of the charge and the according punishment, along with how culpable the defendant was and if the crime was pre-planned and had a large impact.

Being able to display the crime as a spontaneous and unplanned offence can lower the sentence that is handed out too

As sophisticated, pre-planned robberies generally carry more serious penalties, showing that the robbery was spontaneous and unplanned may also help to secure a lesser sentence.

Burglary, Robbery, & Theft Expertise From Robbery Solicitors

We will work with you throughout the case with the additional help of external experts. Very serious cases may require Queen’s Counsel to defend you, in which case we can support them as Junior Counsel, ensuring the correct facts are available at all times. DPP Law can work with you from the police station to the Crown Court and if need be, the Court of Appeal, representing you at every stage.

We’ve been providing people with the best possible defence since 1982. Our highly-trained team of solicitors will discuss your evidence and options with you, defend your case, fight to reduce any charges and provide the best mitigation regardless of the outcome in court.

Burglary & Robbery: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

Robbery can occur in any location and only refers to the act of illegally taking the property of another individual through the use of force, threat of violence or fear. Burglary does not necessarily involve theft, and an individual can only be accused of this offence if they have trespassed or broken into a property without consent to commit a crime of any kind. However, both burglary and robbery sentencing guidelines state that a person committing the offence while equipped with a firearm may face life in prison.

What are the Charges for Burglary?

Individuals accused of burglary may be charged with trespassing or breaking. At the same time, the given sentence for robbery may be increased as a result of additional crimes committed during the time of the burglary. Crimes which often occur during a burglary include:

  • Theft or attempted theft
  • GBH or attempted GBH
  • Unlawful damage
  • Assault
  • Rape
  • Use of force

If several individuals are involved, they may also be charged with conspiracy to burgle.

What is Aggravated Burglary?

The offence of committing burglary using a firearm or imitation firearm or any other weapon, including explosives, is known as aggravated burglary. This charge can also be brought if the perpetrator knew or should have known, that there was a person in the property at the time of the burglary. This particular offence comes with the maximum sentence for aggravated burglary – life in prison.

The sentences for theft, robbery, burglary and the handling or possession of stolen goods can be severe. Because of this, you must get in touch with the criminal defence solicitors at DPP Law immediately if you or someone you know has been arrested for any of these offences. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Get In Touch With DPP Law’s Excellent Team Of Robbery Solicitors

The sentences for theft, robbery, burglary and the handling or possession of stolen goods can be severe. Because of this, you must get in touch with the criminal defence solicitors at DPP Law immediately if you or someone you know has been arrested for any of these offences. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Our criminal defence solicitors can defend you if you have been accused of any of the below criminal offences:

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