Expert Criminal Defence Solicitors for Theft, Burglary and Robbery Offences
Property offences can refer to trespassing, theft, handling of stolen goods, damaging property and deception-related charges. These range from minor shop-thefts and possessing suspected proceeds of crime to large-scale social security frauds, aggravated burglaries and armed robberies.
Slades & Parsons Solicitors specialise in criminal law and have extensive experience in defending people charged with property offences.
We will provide careful and detailed advice at any stage if you are facing these kinds of charges. If police suspect that you have been involved in a property-related offence, it is important that you receive professional legal advice before they interview you. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your call. Without legal advice, you leave yourself open to unintentionally giving the police evidence against yourself.
A record of interview is important. This is because there are often issues of identification and intention in these offences. Just because someone is in possession of goods that are stolen, it does not mean that police can prove all the charges they may lay (shop-theft or burglary, for example).
Burglary involves trespassing on a property with an intention to steal. If police find in your possession items from a burglary, it does not automatically follow that they can prove you committed the burglary.
For more information about property offences, please see our frequently asked questions.
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Theft Charges – Theft and the Crimes Act
Theft charges broadly refer to crimes involving unlawfully using or taking property belonging to another person.
If you are charged with an offence of theft, the prosecution must prove all the elements of the offence. The “elements” are the essential matters that must be proved beyond reasonable doubt before you can be convicted, namely, that you:
- appropriated property belonging to another.
- did so with a dishonest intention.
- acted dishonestly.
The Crimes Act explains these elements further. However, you need to discuss the circumstances of the allegation with a lawyer, as each case will be different. The law is complex about the meaning of words such as “dishonestly”, “appropriation”, “intention” and “property”.
Theft charges and other property offences are typically heard in the Magistrate’s Court, unless more serious charges are also being faced or if the value of the property stolen exceeds $100,000.
Aggravated burglary comes in three categories. It is an offence involving entering a building as a trespasser, having an intention to:
- steal whilst thinking that a person might be present;
- assault whilst thinking that a person might be present; or
- assault whilst possessing a weapon.
Seek legal advice at the earliest possible stage about how to approach the record of interview. Early legal advice can also assess the strengths and weaknesses in the case, helping you to avoid the maximum penalty for this offence – 25 years imprisonment.
In large-scale fraud cases, the prosecution case will often rely on a paper trail of bank documents and other financial instruments. These are complex matters that require careful attention to detail. Our solicitors have significant experience in analysing the brief of evidence. We work closely with barristers experienced in the field.
Burglary (s76 Crimes Act 1958). “A person is guilty of burglary if he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser with intent—
- to steal anything in the building or part in question; or
- to commit an offence—
- involving an assault to a person in the building or part in question; or
- involving any damage to the building or to property in the building or part in question.”
Aggravated Burglary (s77 Crimes Act 1958). “A person is guilty of aggravated burglary if he or she commits a burglary and—
- at the time has with him or her any firearm or imitation firearm, any offensive weapon or any explosive or imitation explosive; or
- at the time of entering the building or the part of the building a person was then present in the building or part of the building and he or she knew that a person was then so present or was reckless as to whether or not a person was then so present.”
If you are charged with armed robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the elements of this offence, namely, that:
- you committed a theft
- immediately before or at the time of the theft you either:
- Used force on a person or,
- Put a person in fear, or sought to put in fear, that force was going to be used (at that time)
- That you acted that way in order to commit the theft
- That at the time of the theft you had a weapon (including imitation and others).
Each case is different. That means that your lawyer must carefully analyse the evidence that the prosecution is relying on. Armed robbery is a serious offence as defined by s3 of the Sentencing Act 1991.
Call our office for a free consultation and speak to a specialist in criminal law about your case.
What is Larceny?
Larceny is a term that is no longer used in Victorian Courts. Larceny was a broad legal concept encompassing misappropriation of goods in various circumstances ranging from simple theft to more deception and fraudulent means. Our Crimes Act has replaced this broad term with more specific charges related to dishonesty and property.
Slades & Parsons are available to take your call 24 hours a day.
Our criminal lawyers can provide more information on property offences and help in navigating the legal process and preparing you to face court.