Burglary

Have you been charged with the criminal law offence of burglary? It's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more about this offence below.

S.419 Burglary (Criminal Code Queensland)

(1) Any person who enters or is in the dwelling of another with intent to commit an indictable offence in the dwelling commits a crime. Maximum penalty—14 years imprisonment.

(2) If the offender enters the dwelling by means of any break, he or she is liable to imprisonment for life.

(3) If—

(a) the offence is committed in the night; or

(b) the offender—

(i) uses or threatens to use actual violence; or

(ii) is or pretends to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon, instrument or noxious substance; or

(iii) is in company with 1 or more persons; or

(iv) damages, or threatens or attempts to damage, any property;

the offender is liable to imprisonment for life.

(4) Any person who enters or is in the dwelling of another and commits an indictable offence in the dwelling commits a crime. Maximum penalty—imprisonment for life.

Burglary offences are very similar to break and enter offences, however, they relate to offences that occur in a dwelling. A person may be charged with burglary when they enter or are in the dwelling of another person with the intention of committing an indictable offence. The maximum penalty is 14 years’ imprisonment (s.419(1) Criminal Code Queensland) . If a person breaks into or commits a crime whilst they are inside the dwelling of another person, the maximum penalty increases to life imprisonment (s.419(2) Criminal Code Queensland).

There are aggravating factors to this offence which may increase your sentence if you are convicted of this offence. If you use or threaten violence, commit the offence at night time, pretend to have or actually have a weapon, damage property or commit the offence in company, your sentence may be increased.

Burglary offences can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or District Court. The seriousness of the circumstances and the existence of other charges connected to the burglary offence will determine the Court in which the matter will be heard.

In Queensland, if a person is convicted of a Burglary offence, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment (suspended, parole or actual time);
  • Intensive Corrections Order;
  • Probation;
  • Community Service Order;
  • Recognisance;
  • Fines.

The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.

Are there any defences available to this charge?

Yes. The following defences may be available to you:

  • Duress;
  • Necessity;
  • Intoxication;
  • Honest claim of right to be in the property;
  • Seal of the property was not broken;
  • Offence did not occur at night;
  • No evidence of circumstances of aggravation.

What should I do if the police want to speak to me about a burglary allegation or if I am charged with a burglary offence?

You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide the police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.

Call an Expert

If you are charged with an assault offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court.

Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.

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