Brisbane- (07) 3172 7100, Ipswich- (07) 3050 7148, Gold Coast- (07) 5655 0748 reception@cravenlawyers.com.au

PROPERTY OFFENCES QLD

If you have been charged with a property offence in Queensland, our expert Brisbane criminal lawyers can help advise and represent you. Our criminal lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with property offences.

Property offences can range from a simple shop lifting to breaking into a person’s home and stealing items.

Often the issue with a property offence is “who committed it?”, the identity of the offender is often not known. As a consequence, the Prosecution will often rely upon evidence they say proves a particular person committed the offence. As a consequence, a close examination of the evidence relied upon by the Prosecution needs to be performed to determine if it does in fact prove a person committed the offence or not. 

Call us now on 3172 7100 and speak to one our Brisbane criminal lawyers today. 

Below are some examples of the types of property offences our criminal lawyers can assist in representing you with along with the types of evidence that is often relied upon by the Prosecution to prove their case.

Arson

The Law: Section 461 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

The defendant:

(1) Willfully (this means deliberately or the person did an act aware at the time that he or she did the act that the property catching fire was a likely consequence of the act and despite this, the person still did the act).

(2) Unlawfully (i.e. they didn’t have the permission or authority from the owner to set fire to the property or they were not justified or excused at law to set fire to the property)

(3) Set fire to any of the following: –

(a)  a building or structure.

(b)  a motor vehicle, train, aircraft or vessel.

(c)  any stack of cultivated vegetable produce, or of mineral or vegetable fuel.

(d)  a mine, or the workings, fittings, or appliances of a mine.

Maximum Penalty: Life imprisonment.

Burglary

The Law: Section 419 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

The defendant:

(1) entered (as soon as any part of a person’s body or any instrument the person has is inside the dwelling, the person is considered to have entered it), or was in the dwelling of another; and 

(2) they had the intention to commit an indictable offence in the dwelling (intention can be determined by the surrounding circumstances and the actions of the person).

“dwelling” is defined as includes any building or structure, or part of a building or structure, which is for the time being kept by the owner or occupier for the residence therein of himself or herself, his or her family, or servants, or any of them, and it is immaterial that it is from time to time uninhabited.

 A building or structure adjacent to, and occupied with, a dwelling is deemed to be part of the dwelling if there is a communication between such building or structure and the dwelling, either immediate or by means of a covered and enclosed passage leading from the one to the other, but not otherwise”.

 

Maximum Penalty:

♦ 14 years imprisonment; or 

♦ Life imprisonment if:

(a) the defendant enters the dwelling by means of any break.

(b) the offence is committed in the night (i.e. between 9:00pm and 6:00am);

(c) the defendant uses or threatens to use actual violence; or

(d) the defendant is or pretends to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon, instrument or noxious substance.

(e) the defendant is in company with 1 or more persons; or

(f) the defendant damages, or threatens or attempts to damage, any property. 

 

Entering or being in premises

The Law: Section 421 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

The defendant: – 

(1) entered, or was in

(2) any premises; and

(3) they had the intention to commit an indictable offence in the premises.

“premises” is defined as:

(a) a building or structure, or part of a building or structure, of any type; and

(b) a group of, or part of a group of, buildings or structures, of any type; and

(c) the land or water where a building or structure or a group of buildings or structures is situated; and

(d) a vehicle, or a caravan; and

(e) a tent, or a cave; and

(f) premises in which more than 1 person has ownership.

 

Maximum Penalty:

♦ 10 years imprisonment if the defendant  only enters or is in the premises with the intent to commit an indictable offence; or 

♦ 14 years imprisonment if the defendant commits an indictable offence in the premises; or 

♦ Life imprisonment if the defendant gains entry to the premises by any break and commits an indictable offence in the premises.

 

 

Receiving tainted property

The Law: Section 433 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

The defendant: – 

(1) received property (this means that the person either alone or jointly with another person physically has or had the property in their possession or under their control);

(2) the property is “tainted property” (this means that the property was obtained by stealing or by way of an act that would constitute an indictable offence, or is property that the tainted property has been used to turn into something else, or the proceeds received from mortgaging, pledging or exchanging the tainted property). 

(3) the defendant has reason to believe the property is tainted property (the defendant does not need to actually know the property is stolen, it is sufficient if the circumstances surrounding the receiving of the property are such that they would have reason to believe the property was stolen (e.g. a person sells you a Ferrari for $100.00).

  

Maximum Penalty:

♦ 7 years imprisonment; or 

♦ 14 years imprisonment if: 

(a) If the property was obtained by way of an act constituting a crime.

(b) If the property is a firearm or ammunition.

(c) If the person received the property as a pawnbroker or dealer in second hand goods, under a licence or otherwise. 

Stealing

The Law: Sections 391 and 398 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

 (1) There is property that is capable of being stolen, this means that the property is moveable or capable of being moved.

 (2) The property is owned by a person.

(3) The defendant took the property without the consent of the owner (this means that the person taking the property must have actually moved the property or dealt with it by some physical act without the permission of the owner).

(4) At the time of taking the property, the defendant had a fraudulent intention (this means that the defendant had an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property).  

Maximum Penalty: 5 years imprisonment. However, the maximum penalty increases up to 14 years imprisonment in certain circumstances.

 

 

 

Wilful damage

The Law: Section 469 of the Criminal Code (Qld).

What does the Prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

The defendant: –

(1) Destroyed or damaged any property.

(2) Wilfully (this means the defendant deliberately did an act or did an act being aware that the result that happened (the damage or destruction) was a likely consequence and the defendant did the act recklessly being aware of the likely consequence); and

(3) Unlawfully (this means the person was not authorised, justified or excused at law to damage or destroy the property).

Maximum Penalty: 5 years imprisonment unless it is a special case as defined by the Criminal Code (Qld) where the penalty increases.

What evidence do police often rely upon to prove property offences?

  • Witness statements.
  • CCTV footage.
  • Admissions made by an accused person during an interview with police.
  • DNA- saliva, hair, blood.
  • Fingerprints. 
  • Footprints. 
  • Statements of co-offenders.
  • Photo boards.
  • Mobile phone data downloads (known as cellebrite or lantern reports).
  • Search warrant.
  • Recording of the execution of a search warrant.
  • Property that is subject of the offence located in the possession of an accused.
  • Photographs. 

Call Us Now on (07) 3172 7100 and talk to one of our Brisbane criminal lawyers today. 

Queensland Law Society

 

Copyright ©  2015 Craven Lawyers. All Rights Reserved. Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

 

 

FOLLOW US

 

BRISBANE OFFICE 

Phone: (07) 3172 7100

Fax: (07) 3054 7390

Email: reception@cravenlawyers.com.au

Address: Level 54, 111 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

IPSWICH & SPRINGFIELD OFFICE 

Phone: (07) 3050 7148

Fax: (07) 3054 7390

Email: reception@cravenlawyers.com.au

Address: 5/22 Magnolia Drive, Brookwater QLD 4300