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Burglary Offences

AFG LAW have a team of experienced criminal law experts who can help you if you have been accused of committing a burglary offence. Criminal law can sometimes be complex and difficult to fully understand – we can help you make sense of the charges against you, evaluate the evidence and advise how to proceed.


The offence of burglary is defined under Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 which provides details for two separate variants of the offence. These are as follows:
1.    if a person enters a building or a part of a building as a trespasser with intent to steal, inflict grievous bodily harm or do unlawful damage to the building or anything in it (intent present from the start)
2.    if having entered a building or part of a building as a trespasser an individual attempts to steal anything in the building or inflicts or attempts to inflict grievous bodily harm on any person in the building (intent develops after entry)

What is required to be established in order to be convicted of burglary?

The following elements need to be shown to be present in order to convict the offender of burglary:
·         the person gains entry
·         to a building or part of a building
·         they do so as a trespasser (without authority)
·         they do so with intent

The term ‘building’ legally includes inhabited vehicles or vessels. This means that motor homes, caravans and houseboats will be protected, even if they are temporarily unoccupied.

The intent to commit the crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant enters premises to regain property which he honestly believes he is entitled to take he may be acquitted.

What is the likely sentence of someone convicted of burglary?

The maximum sentence under Section 9 of the Theft Act that a person convicted of burglary will receive is as follows:

  • 14 years – where the offence was committed in a dwelling
  • 10 years – where the offence was committed in any other buildings

A minimum three year prison sentence for a third domestic burglary conviction is mandatory under Section 4 of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 unless there are exceptional circumstances.

How can AFG LAW help me if I am charged with a burglary offence?

We can help you prepare your defence, represent you at trial and even help you with your appeal if it should be necessary. Should you be convicted, we can identify any appropriate mitigating factors or circumstances which may help to reduce your sentence or penalty.

Our criminal law solicitors can help you with your case and provide expert legal advice and representation throughout. If you’d like more information on burglary offences please email or ring 01204 377 600 – we’ll explain how AFG LAW’s criminal law specialists can help.

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