Robbery, Burglary and Theft Offences

Our solicitors are experts in defending all types of robbery, burglary and theft allegations. We have over 30 years’ experience of representing individuals being investigated or prosecuted for these types of offences.

Some of our more high-profile cases have attracted national media interest. We have achieved outstanding results for many clients as a result of our legal expertise and attention to detail.

Our experienced lawyers can help you at every stage of the legal process include advising on your position if you think the police may want to interview you, through to challenging the prosecution evidence and building and robust defence. In the Crown Court, many of these cases will also involve instructing one or more experts.

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The distinction: robbery, burglary and theft

Many people use the terms robbery, burglary and theft interchangeably whereas, in law, they are distinct offences.


At its simplest, theft involves taking someone else’s money or property without their consent and with no intention of returning it.


The offence of burglary involves a person either:

  • entering a building as a trespasser with the intention of stealing property, causing unlawful damage or inflicting grievous bodily harm on someone else, or
  • having entered a building as a trespasser, stealing (or attempting to steal or attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm)


The maximum sentence for a burglary depends on whether it is a domestic burglary, non-domestic burglary or aggravated burglary.

Domestic Burglary

This involves the burglary of a home where people live. Generally, this will be a house or flats but it could also include a boat or vehicle. The maximum sentence for this offence is 14 years’ imprisonment.

Non-Domestic Burglary

This involves the burglary of property that is not a dwelling such as a shop, office or other commercial space. The maximum sentence for non-domestic burglary is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Aggravated Burglary

Aggravated burglary takes place if the offender had either a firearm, imitation firearm, weapon or explosive device at the time of the burglary. The maximum sentence in these cases is life imprisonment.


A robbery offence takes place when a person steals property, with the use of force immediately before or at the time of the theft. The offence takes place even if no force is used if the offender caused someone to fear that force would be used (for example, by their words or behaviour).

If convicted, robbery carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Sentencing decisions

Subject to the maximum sentence for the offence, the sentence imposed by the court will depend on whether the accused pleaded guilty and, if so, at what stage of the proceedings.

 It will also depend on the presence of any aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

The combination of the above can make a huge difference to the sentence imposed.

We have extensive experience of advising and representing clients in these cases, particularly sophisticated, professionally-planned offences involving a very high-value.

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