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Theft, Robbery & Burglary
While theft, burglary and robbery all involve the act of taking someone else’s property from them without their consent, they are three very different offences with varying degrees of seriousness.
At Minton Morrill, our specialist theft, robbery and burglary solicitors have considerable experience of advising and representing clients facing such charges in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the wider North of England.
Generally speaking, theft is the act of taking another person’s property without their consent with the intention to permanently deprive them of it. Depending on how much has been stolen, theft cases can be heard in either the magistrates’ or Crown Court and carry a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.
Robbery is when force is used or threatened against a person in order to steal from them. Robbery is an extremely serious offence and can only be heard in the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Burglary is the act of entering a building as a trespasser with intent to commit a crime such as stealing property, causing someone in the building grievous bodily harm or causing damage to the building or anything inside it. You can be convicted of burglary simply for entering the building – you do not have to have stolen or damaged anything or inflicted harm on any of its occupants. Burglary carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years or, if it took place in someone’s home, 14 years. If you commit burglary while in the possession of a firearm (including imitation firearms) or another offensive weapon then you can be charged with aggravated burglary, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Handling stolen goods
It is a criminal offence to knowingly receive, look after or assist with the disposal of stolen goods, even if you did not steal them. Depending on the value of the stolen goods, the offence can be heard in either the magistrates’ or Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.
If you are facing charges relating to theft, robbery, burglary or handling stolen goods then it is vital to seek expert legal advice immediately. At Minton Morrill, we have represented clients charged with a wide range of offences, including armed robbery. If you wish to deny the charges then we will work hard to clear your name. Alternatively, if you decide to plead guilty then we can argue for a reduced sentence.
Taking without owner’s consent
Taking without owner’s consent, also known as TWOC or twoccing, refers to the unauthorised use of a car or other conveyance (a vehicle designed to carry a driver by land, water or air). If you are facing charges of taking without consent or aggravated taking then the specialist road traffic offence solicitors at Minton Morrill can help.
This offence differs from theft as there does not have to be an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle and is therefore easier to prove than theft. In many cases, so-called ‘joy riders’ may take a car without the owner’s consent and then later abandon the vehicle, although twoccing can also refer to using someone else’s car for the purposes of another offence, such as committing a bank robbery.
If the vehicle which has been taken without consent is subsequently driven dangerously on the road or the manner of its driving results in injury, damage to property or damage to the vehicle itself then an offence of aggravated taking may have been committed.
If you are convicted of taking without consent, you could face up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine. For aggravated taking, the maximum sentence is two years’ imprisonment, a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and between three and 11 penalty points. Where a death has occurred as a result of the aggravated taking, the maximum prison sentence can be increased to 14 years.
At Minton Morrill, our specialist road traffic offence solicitors are highly experienced in advising clients facing TWOC or aggravated taking charges. It may be possible to argue a ‘claim of right’ defence if you believed that you had the owner’s consent or would have had their consent had they known the circumstances, for example if a vehicle was moved a short distance because it was causing an obstruction.
To find out how our specialist theft, robbery and burglary solicitors in Leeds, Yorkshire and the North of England can help you, please contact us.
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