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Burglary

Robbery Offences – WA

Welcome to the WA Burglary article page. Everything you need to know about Burglary according to WA Law.

What the Law states according to WA Law for Burglary

According to WA Law for the charge of Burglary:

Section 401: A person who enters or is in the place of another person, without that other person’s consent, with intent to commit an offence in that place, is guilty of a crime.

Also, a person who commits an offence in the place of another person, when in that place without the other person’s consent, is guilty of a crime.

“Circumstances of Aggravation” is defined in the Criminal Code to mean circumstances in which immediately before, during or after the offence the offender:

(1) Is or pretends to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon;
(2) Is or pretends to be in possession of an explosive substance;
(3) Is in the company of another person or persons;
(4) Does bodily harm to any person;
(5) Threatens to kill or injure any person;
(6) Detains any person; and
(7) Knew or ought to know immediately before the offence that there were other people in that place (other than any co-offenders).

The Maximum Penalty – Burglary

According to WA Law for the charge of Burglary:

Where the person enters with the intent to commit an offence: If the matter is being heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty is 14 years. If the place is ordinarily used for human habitation, but not committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 18 years imprisonment. If the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 20 years.

If the matter is dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years and a fine of $24,000. If the place is ordinarily used for human habitation, but not committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 3 years and a fine of $36,000. If the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 3 years and a fine of $36,000.

Where the person commits an offence while in the place of another person: If the matter is heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty is 14 years. If the place is ordinarily used for human habitation, but not committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 18 years imprisonment. If the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 20 years.

Where the person commits an offence while in the place of another person, the matter can only be heard by the Magistrates Court if the value of the property is less than $10,000. If the matter is heard in the Magistrates Court, the matter can be dealt with summarily and the maximum penalty is 2 years and a fine of $24,000. If the place is ordinarily used for human habitation, but not committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 3 years and a fine of $36,000. If the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 3 years and a fine of $36,000.

Where a person is convicted of committing an offence in relation to a place ordinarily used for human habitation and is a “repeat offender” at the time of the offence, the Court must sentence the person to a minimum of 12 months mandatory imprisonment.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Burglary

Where the person is in or enters property without consent and intends to commit an offence the Police must prove:

(1) That the accused entered or was in that place of another person;
(2) That the accused’s entry or presence in that place occurred without the consent of that other person; and
(3) That the accused entered or was in that place with the intention to commit an offence. Where the person commits an offence in the place of another person when in that place without the other person’s consent the Police must prove:

(1) That the accused was in the place of another person;
(2) That the accused was in that place without that other person’s consent; and
(3) That the accused committed and offence while in that place.

The Police may also have to prove that the person is a repeat offender if they are seeking the mandatory 12 month minimum imprisonment term.

Possible Defences under WA Law – Burglary

(a) Consent to be in that place;
(b) Lack of intent;
(c) Duress;
(d) Insanity;
(e) Honest claim of right; and
(f) Identification (ie. the accused is not the person who committed the burglary).

In WA which court will hear the matter – Burglary

The matter would be heard in the District Court or the Magistrate’s Court if it is being dealt with summarily.

Burglary is an ‘either-way’ offence. If the matter is able to be dealt with summarily it may be heard in the Magistrate’s Court. However, if the matter is particularly serious or if the accused is also facing charges which are being dealt with in the District Court, the Prosecution may make an application to have the stealing charge also heard in the District Court.

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