What is Burglary?

This occurs when a person enters a building or 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.

It can be committed when a person is permitted to enter a home or other premises but then goes to a room or area where they are not permitted to be and steals something.

There are three types of burglary

Domestic – This happens when an offender enters a building in which people live Including houses or any vehicle in which people live.

Non-domestic – In premises other than a dwelling, like shops or offices.

Aggravated – This is when the offender has with him any firearm or imitation firearm, any weapon of offence or any explosive.

Where a weapon is used to attack someone at the property in the course of the burglary the offender would also normally be charged with an assault offence, or alternatively, they could be charged with robbery.

What is the difference between Burglary, Robbery & Theft?

In basic terms, robbery is when someone steals from a person using force or makes them think force will be used. Theft is when someone’s property is taken but it does not involve the use of force. Burglary is illegally entering a property in order to steal property from it.

What are the Sentencing Guidelines for burglary ?

Sentencing will depend on the category.

Domestic burglary – Anywhere between a community order through to 14 years depending on things like:

  • Vulnerability of the victim
  • The degree of planning
  • Whether any weapons were used
  • Whether there was any coercion or intimation to carry out the burglary
  • Scale of violence used
  • The amount of physical/psychological impact caused

Non-domestic burglary – Anywhere between a community order through to 10 years depending on similar criteria as Domestic burglary.

Aggravated burglary – Anywhere between 1 year through to life imprisonment depending on similar criteria as Domestic burglary.

What should you do if you’ve been charged for burglary?

If you or a family member are accused of burglary, you should seek legal advice immediately. It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.