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Theft and Burglary

Theft and burglary are offences that can be heard in both the Magistrates and Crown Court.

Both offences can result in a prison sentence. Both are offences of dishonesty.

Call our 24h helpline

07912 784485

All matters start at the police station.

If you are arrested, and the police wish to interview you under caution, a member of our specialist criminal defence team can assist you at the police station.

Under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968, defines theft as:

‘A person is guilty of theft if they dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another, intending to permanently deprive the other of it. ‘

This ranges from the theft of a sandwich from a supermarket (shoplifting), employees stealing money, to vast operations stealing cars to order.

A low-level offence can be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. The maximum sentence is six months for one offence. The court has the power to sentence for up to 12 months for two or more offences. The maximum penalty in the Crown Court is seven years imprisonment for one offence.

If you are pleading not guilty, even if the Magistrates agree to hear your trial, you can still choose to have your trial heard in the Crown Court.

If you are found guilty or plead guilty, the courts will consider your role in the offence, the value of the goods, plus any relevant factor before sentence.

If you plead guilty at the first instance, there is an expectation that you will receive a more lenient sentient. This is called credit for a guilty plea.

Being convicted of theft can have a detrimental impact on your future job expectations as it’s an offence of dishonesty. You will lose your reputation, possibly your employment also. This could mean being unable to pay your rent or mortgage and losing your home.

This is why we recommend you contact Castle Solicitors and seek legal representation if you are facing an allegation of theft.

Burglary is defined by Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968:

(1) A person is guilty of burglary if—

(a) he or she enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or

(b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

This is an either way offence so can be dealt with in the Magistrates or Crown Court. The maximum sentence in the Magistrates’ Court is six months imprisonment for one charge, or up to 12 months for two or more charges.

In the Crown Court, the maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment.

Burglaries of peoples’ homes are usually sent to the Crown Court to be dealt with. The more serious cases carry significant prison sentences on conviction, this is why we recommend you contact our legal team at the earliest moment in the investigation.

Why should I choose Castle Solicitors?

We understand

24 hours a day you can contact us if you require legal advice.

We’re experienced

We don’t like losing, so if matters do go to trial, you’re guaranteed a solicitor who has a successful track record.

We win

Our goal is always to get the very best result for our clients, whether that be the police taking no further action, preventing someone from receiving a custodial sentence or clearing a client’s name with an acquittal after trial.

What should I do now?

Contact us by calling on 0121 226 3636, emailing admin@castlesolicitors.co.uk or even sending a message from this website on the contact page. We will call you back as soon as possible (usually within 2 hours) but in any event no later than 24 hours.

For emergencies, you can also contact our 24-hour helpline on 07912 784485


If you have been arrested to simply ask for Castle Solicitors at the police station and we will receive the call. 

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