The offence of going equipped for theft can be a serious allegation linked to accusations of burglary or theft. Going equipped is an offence defined by section 25 of the Theft Act 1968.
If you accused of going equipped, the Prosecution must show that you:
- Had a tool or other article in your possession,
- That tool was intended for use in the course of a burglary or theft, and
- You were not at your home
Going equipped is an offence where the key issue relates to what the suspect intended to do with the tool in his possession. People frequently carry the tools during the course of their business or trade, but what defines the offence is the purpose for carrying out a theft or other dishonesty offence.
Common items that cause suspicion of going equipped are crowbars or bolt cutters. When considering the strength of an allegation, it is appropriate to look at the full circumstances of the incident such as whether the accused was carrying out a trade, or the time of day and location of the accused having such an item.
Going equipped for theft is an either way offence, meaning that it can be heard in both the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. When the case is heard by the Magistrates Court, the maximum sentence is 6 months custody. the Crown Court has the power to impose up to 3 years imprisonment. However, unless the defendant has previous convictions, or the offence was connected to an burglary or robbery, a Community Order is the most likely outcome.
If you have been accused of going equipped, it is important that you have expert advice from a specialist criminal defence lawyer. Contact us to see if we can help you find an experienced solicitor or barrister for your case.
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