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Stealing Property in a Dwelling-House

Stealing Property in a Dwelling-House is an offence under Section 148 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You stole property
  2. The property was in an dwelling-house, and
  3. The property belonged to another

A ‘dwelling-house’ includes:

  1. A building or other structure intended for occupation even if it has never been occupied
  2. A boat or vehicle in which a person resides, and
  3. A building or structure that is ancillary to a dwelling-house which is occupied or whose use is ancillary to the dwelling-house

‘Property’ encompasses every description of real and personal property including goods, chattels, money, valuable securities, debts, legacies, and deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Claim of right, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the property

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