Theft

This is the most common type of dishonesty offence that comes before the courts. The legal definition of theft is “the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”

This is a complex area of law which would take up too much time and space here to fully explain it. Shoplifting, theft from employer and theft by finding are all common types of theft.

A defence to this charge can be that the person accused did not know the item belonged to another or did not have the intention of permanently depriving the victim of the item. The maximum sentence in the Magistrates is 6 months and in the Crown Court is 7 years.

Taking Without Consent (TWOC)

This offence is much less common nowadays mainly due to the high security systems that motor vehicles have fitted as standard. This is an offence that is summary only (Magistrates) and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months.

Robbery

Put simply a robbery is a theft where there is the use or threat of force or violence. It can be committed with or without a weapon but the presence of a weapon (imitation or otherwise) is an aggravating factor.  Most people think of a robbery as an armed bank hold up. In reality a lot of robberies nowadays are “street robberies” where elderly folk have their bag snatched or a mobile phone is taken with threats being made.

Either way it is a serious offence that can only be heard in the Crown Court and the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Handling Stolen Goods

This offence is committed when a person dishonestly receives stolen goods or in some assists in the retention of stolen goods. The courts will treat this offence seriously stating that without handlers there would be far fewer acts of dishonesty. Again this is a complex area of law and we can provide expert advice to you if you are alleged to have committed this offence. Maximum sentences are 6 months in the Magistrates and 14 years in the Crown Court.

Burglary

A Burglary is committed when a person enters a property as a trespasser with the intention to steal, cause damage or inflict harm; or enters as a trespasser as actually does one of the above. This offence carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in the Magistrates Court and 14 years in the Crown Court.

Aggravated Burglary is a more serious offence and usually involves the use of a weapon. This can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Fraud / Deception

This type of offence again requires an element of dishonesty and can be committed in a number of ways. Common offences are committed when the victim has been tricked by way of some form of misrepresentation (by the use of a false document). This type of offence carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in the Magistrates and 10 years in the Crown Court.

These are probably the most common types of offences of dishonesty. If you are charged with committing one of these or any other offence involving dishonesty then we will have the experience and expertise to advise you and represent you.
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