This article provides an overview of aggravated burglary offences in Victoria, the process of laying charges, the court process, the types of penalties that may be imposed, and the consequences of being found guilty.
Aggravated burglary is one of the most serious criminal offences in Victoria, carrying substantial penalties and consequences for those found guilty. It involves not only entering a building as a trespasser with the intention of committing an offence, but also being armed with a weapon or having someone present in the building.
Aggravated Burglary Offences
Under Section 77 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), a person is guilty of aggravated burglary if they commit a burglary and at the time they enter the building or part of the building:
- They have with them a firearm, imitation firearm, offensive weapon, explosive or imitation explosive; or
- There is a person present in the building or part of the building.
How Charges are Laid
Charges for aggravated burglary are typically laid by the police. The police will investigate the incident, gather evidence, and interview the accused and any witnesses. If there is sufficient evidence to support the elements of the offence, the police will lay charges and issue a charge sheet to the accused. This charge sheet will outline the details of the offence and specify the date on which the accused is required to appear in court.
The court process for aggravated burglary offences in Victoria involves several stages:
- First Appearance: The accused will attend court for the first time, where the charges will be explained, and the accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
- Committal Hearing: If the accused pleads not guilty, a committal hearing may be held in the Magistrates’ Court to determine whether there is enough evidence to support a trial.
- Trial: If the case proceeds to trial, it will typically be heard in the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria. The prosecution and defence will present their evidence, and a jury will determine whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.
- Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, the court will impose a sentence, which may include imprisonment, a fine, or other penalties.
Penalties for Aggravated burglary offences
The maximum penalty for aggravated burglary in Victoria is 25 years imprisonment. However, the actual penalty imposed will depend on various factors, including the severity of the offence, the circumstances surrounding the offence, and the offender’s criminal history.
Consequences of Being Found Guilty – Aggravated burglary
Being found guilty of an aggravated burglary offence can have serious consequences beyond the immediate penalties imposed by the court. These may include:
- Criminal Record: A conviction for aggravated burglary will result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to obtain employment, travel overseas, and apply for certain licenses or registrations.
- Impact on Relationships: A conviction for aggravated burglary can have a significant impact on your relationships with family and friends.
- Financial Consequences: A conviction for aggravated burglary may result in significant financial consequences, including the payment of fines, compensation to the victim, and legal costs.
- Loss of Freedom: A sentence of imprisonment will result in a loss of freedom and may have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
Aggravated burglary is a serious offence in Victoria, carrying significant penalties and consequences for those found guilty. It involves entering a building as a trespasser with the intention of committing an offence while armed with a weapon or having someone present in the building. The court process can be complex and lengthy, and if you are charged with an aggravated burglary offence, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice from a qualified professional to understand your rights and options.