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Theft and Dishonesty Offences

If you’ve been accused of theft or a dishonest offence, we understand you might need help to prepare your defence. Our team can help defend you when you need it.

Theft and dishonesty offences are commonly those involving situations where a person intentionally removes or otherwise takes possession or control of another person’s property without consideration or permission. The stealing must be a deliberate act. It cannot be committed by accident. A person must therefore act “dishonestly” in order to be guilty of an offence.

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    Types of offences

    A wide range of offences require a court to make a finding of dishonesty. Theft and dishonesty offences are some of the most common offences and are generally covered by the Theft Act 1968. They can be tried in the Magistrates’ or the Crown Court. Offences include:

    • Theft
    • Burglary
    • Fraud
    • Going Equipped to Steal
    • Handling Stolen Goods
    • Making off Without Payment
    • Robbery
    • Benefit Fraud
    • Taking a vehicle without Consent
    • Blackmail
    • Conspiracy to steal


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    Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?

    Any conviction for a dishonesty offence can have a serious impact on your future and may put you at risk of a prison sentence. It can also have serious implications for professionals in terms of professional standards regulatory bodies and serious consequences for somebody who is employed. This means that it is important for you to have the very best representation to ensure that you have strong, dependable and well –informed legal advice.

    We are vastly experienced with decades of experience and expertise in specialist areas. From the earliest stage of proceedings our 24-hour police station team is staffed by experienced and highly trained representatives.

    Our case workers and advocates operate regularly in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court, as well as the Court of Appeal. We have dealt with the most serious of dishonesty offences involving large scale conspiracies to and offences involving adults and youth.

    As well as our own highly skilled and experienced lawyers, through 40 years, we have built up a network of working with the very best forensic experts.

    We never forget the most important person in criminal proceedings is the client. We work with you to present your case in the most effective and persuasive way possible.

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    Featured cases

    R v KC

    Youth charged with robbery with three others. Trial in the youth court. Issues were joint enterprise and identification. Defendant acquitted at trial. Was of previous good character at time of the offence.

    R v R

    Defendant was director of a charity which was alleged to have been paid over £200k in gift aid. HMRC position was funds were due back immediately. Defendant alleges the payment was subject to a legitimate agreement.

    R v M

    Conspiracy to handle stolen goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Case dismissed after legal submissions

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    R v JC

    Defendant charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. It was alleged he disguised his car as an unmarked police car with “police blue lights”, pulled over the victim pretending to be a police officer and robbed him of a £20k Rolex watch. Prosecution offered no evidence after legal argument in the crown court.

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    Meet our team of legal experts
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    Chloe Hartnell
    Edward Jones
    Gary Monks
    Graeme Hydari
    Jessica Davis
    Kerry Spence
    Kiran Mehta
    Mike Schwarz
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    Sean Caulfield
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    Sion Morgan
    Olivia Pattison

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the difference between theft, robbery and burglary?

    Theft, robbery, and burglary are all covered by the Theft Act 1969 and refer to the dishonest taking of someone else’s money or property without their permission. 

    • Theft could be someone stealing from a shop, picking a pocket, stealing a car, or stealing from an employer. 
    • Robbery is differentiated from theft by the use of violence or a threat of force or violence before or during the act of theft.
    • Burglary is committed when a person enters a building as a trespasser with the intent to commit theft. The offence of burglary will be considered aggravated if the offender has with him any firearm or imitation firearm, any weapon of offence, or any explosive.

    How is theft from employers treated differently from other dishonesty offences?

    Theft from your employer is more serious than simple theft, as the offence is usually aggravated by the issue of breaching the trust of your employer.

    When an employee is accused of theft from an employer, the impact on the accused’s life can be disastrous. An accusation alone can result in the loss of your job and damage to your reputation. It’s important that steps are taken swiftly to minimise the effects of an allegation on an individual.

    Can I go to prison for dishonesty offences?

    The simple answer is yes. The sentences for offences range from a financial penalty for a simple theft to life imprisonment for offences such as robbery or aggravated burglary.
    Here are links to the Sentencing Council guidelines for some of the most common dishonesty offences:

    • Theft
    • Robbery
    • Burglary
    Further Reading
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