Reducing Burglary Charge

BurglaryThis is a case of reducing a Burglary charge down to an offence of Trespass.

Our client was accused of burglarising a residential property and stealing $2000 worth of items located inside the house. He was identified by the owner of the house after they returned home to discover a cigarette butt inside the house. DNA analysis of the cigarette butt linked our client to the burglary. When questioned by the police, our client admitted to attending at the property and removing a number of items from the front porch, but denied breaking and entering into the house.

We represented the client at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on the charges of:

After negotiations with the prosecution, we were able to convince the police to withdraw the charge of Burglary and replace it with a charge of Trespass – to reflect our client’s instructions that he did not enter the property. Further, the prosecution conceded that they could not prove the value of the items taken as being $2000 and so reduced the quantum to an agreed upon value of $500.

At the plea hearing of the two charges, our client was placed on a 24-month adjourned undertaking (good behaviour bond). This was a good result as the offending involved a residential property and our client had a long history of committing similar offences, for some of which he had received a term of imprisonment. This was achieved on top of the fact that we were able to reduce the Burglary charge before the plea hearing.

For this client, we were able to distinguish the incident from previous offending where the court had sentenced him very harshly. A psychological report was tendered to the sentencing magistrate which gave a significant level of insight into our client’s mental health and the treatment he was engaged in. The report also supported our submissions that rehabilitation should be the focus of any sentence imposed, rather than punishment and deterrence.


DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 19/04/2017