How serious is a charge of Aggravated Burglary and what is the maximum penalty in Melbourne?
Aggravated Burglary is a very serious offence which normally carries a prison term on a finding of guilt. As it is an indictable offence, it is primarily heard in the County Court or Supreme Court but may be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court if considered appropriate. The maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of an aggravated burglary charge is 25 years of imprisonment.
The legislation on Aggravated Burglary
Section 77 of the Crimes Act 1958 is the relevant law for Aggravated Burglary and is as follows:
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 77
77. Aggravated burglary
(1) A person is guilty of aggravated burglary if he or she commits a burglary and-
(a) at the time has with him or her any firearm or imitation firearm, any offensive weapon or any explosive or imitation explosive; or
(b) 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.
(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1)-
explosive means any article manufactured for the purpose of producing a practical effect by explosion, or intended by the person having it with him or her for that purpose;
firearm has the same meaning as in the Firearms Act 1996;
imitation explosive means any article which might reasonably be taken to be or to contain an explosive;
imitation firearm means anything which has the appearance of being a firearm, whether capable of being discharged or not;
offensive weapon means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to or incapacitating a person, or which the person having it with him or her intends or threatens to use for such a purpose.
(2) A person guilty of aggravated burglary is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 2 imprisonment (25 years maximum).
Pleading guilty or not guilty to Aggravated Burglary at a Melbourne Court
Deciding on whether to plead guilty to Aggravated Burglary or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.
Elements of the charge of Aggravated Burglary
The Prosecution must show that a burglary occurred and, amongst other options, that the accused had an intention to assault or possessed a weapon.
Defending an Aggravated Burglary case in a Melbourne Court
Defending the charge of Aggravated Burglary often involves a factual dispute about what happened or an assertion that the alleged victim let you into the premises. There are also a lot of cases run on the basis of witnesses wrongly identifying who was involved in the alleged crime.
For more information on Aggravated Burglary, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).
Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this
Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne
Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)
This article was written on July 30, 2012 and relates to the law as it stands at this time.