What Constitutes Burglary and How to Defend Yourself from This Charge?


If a person commits a crime and the charges are proven, there could be severe consequences and penalties that you may face under the Criminal code of law in Australia. The penalty can include a fine or imprisonment, or both, depending on the grade of offence.

What Is Burglary?

Burglary involves entering or remaining on the property. A person commits a crime if they enter or remain in a house or building as a trespasser with a clear intent to steal property or create damage and commit violence. This property can include parts of a building, a home, a caravan, a vehicle, or a vessel used as a residence.

This offence constitutes committing:

  • Theft of property from the premises
  • A crime involving violence or property damage

Defending Yourself

You need to understand the crime, and the law and find any nooks that could work in your defence. It takes a reasonable doubt by the jury to have the charges dropped against you. If you can prove that the reason for your break, enter, and steal was innocent, then you could defend yourself.

Defences against a burglary fall into two categories:

  • Denying your action
  • Committed the act but not responsible

Denying the Act

It is the most basic defence where you have to prove that you didn’t commit the Burglary crime. This doubt of whether or not you have committed the crime will need solid pieces of evidence from the prosecutor’s side, and you can challenge them in court. It is then solely the prosecutor’s job to prove that you are guilty. You are innocent until proven guilty.

One of the primary ways to prove that you didn’t do the crime is to demonstrate that you were somewhere else, with someone else, and couldn’t have been a perpetrator. If you can provide an alibi defence, you create a reasonable doubt that could be sufficient to defend yourself against the charge.

Committed the Act But Not Responsible

You may have committed the crime of breaking into the property, but you have solid reasons for doing so. In that case, you stand a solid chance to defend yourself. You will have to provide evidence and prove why your actions should be excused.

This kind of argument includes:

Self-defence: This is a common defence where you will have to prove that you were the victim rather than the other way around, and that you acted utterly to protect yourself from harm.

Insanity or under the influence defence: There’s a mental or intent element in almost every criminal law. However, it is challenging to plead insanity as a defence.

You can also prove that you acted entirely under the influence of drugs and weren’t in the right mental state. It may not wholly banish your crime but surely lessen it to some extent. Self-defence can also include that you were threatened by someone else to commit the crime and that you didn’t do it out of your own will.  

If you are charged with theft, you can take the help of a criminal lawyer and provide a constructive reason to clear yourself of all the charges.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *