If you’re accused of stealing, robbery, burglary or another property-related offence, it’s vital that your lawyer knows how to defend you and keep you out of prison. If the offence is serious, or involves any violence, then the court will be looking at actual jail time.
First offence of stealing in Queensland
For first time stealing offences, police can choose to charge you with what is known as UTAG, which is shorthand for unauthorised dealing with shop goods. That is, taking something worth under $150 from a shop. For second time offenders or more serious offences, the charge is stealing, which means a higher maximum penalty.
Other offences like break and enter (enter premises and commit indictable offence), robbery, burglary, and receiving or possessing tainted property can also be charged, depending on the evidence the police have.
Normally police will look at CCTV footage, or examine fingerprints or DNA, in order to track down offenders for property offences. Quite often this sort of evidence is hard to argue against, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Each case is different and there may be problems with the case against you that a skilled lawyer can pick up on. Where there is no evidence, then the fact you have some stolen property in your possession doesn’t mean the police can prove you were the one who stole it.
What should I do if the police want to speak to me?
In all cases, it is highly recommended that you do not participate in an interview with police until you have spoken to us first. If you want to admit you did the wrong thing, then you can do that by pleading guilty in court. By telling the police information they might not know, or confirming details, you might be placing yourself in a situation where you are admitting to something that can’t be proven.
Sentencing for property offences
When it comes to sentencing for these types of offences, we carefully examine the facts, together with your past history and background. We look at things like the loss or damage caused, and whether the items have been returned. We piece this information together with research into relevant cases to put you in the best possible position.
If drugs or alcohol were a factor in your offending, then we get you assessed by psychologists and send you to receive treatment before your sentence. If the property is gone or damaged, then we determine if you can pay it back as part of your sentence.
For more serious charges, like robbery in company or with violence, then we put much more work into our case law research and preparation to make sure you don’t end up in jail.
Why you should choose George Criminal Lawyers
Because of our careful and skilful approach to these types of charges, developed over many years, we have kept many clients out of jail and focusing on their future. Where a conviction might be recorded, we ensure we have all the evidence we need to ensure that doesn’t happen. And where jail is on the cards, we do everything we can to keep you out of there.
And if you want to defend yourself from allegations of stealing, robbery or burglary, then you need a specialist on your side. Our attention to detail and skill in this area means you have the best possible opportunity to be found not guilty of the charge. You deserve the best and you’ve come to the right place.