How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Chris The Lawyer Your Own Question
Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22897
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
Type Your New Zealand Law Question Here...
Chris The Lawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Its a question pertaining to an alleged Burglary offense.

Customer Question

Its a question pertaining to an alleged Burglary offense. The police are suspecting someone of burglary and have requested the person to contact the police for a statement/conversation. Is the person legally obligated to give a statement to the police or speak with them about their version of the incident and circumstances surrounding the alleged offence or does the person have the legal right to remain silent and not give a statement to the police , and wait for them to do further investigation. Thank You
JA: I'm an assistant to the Lawyer. I work with them to help customers like you.
Customer: So what is your advice
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: In New Zealand. Alleged crime happened 6 months back. Police only made contact with alleged person today
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The person in question was intoxicated at the time of offence and has limited recollection of all items being that are claimed stolen by the owners (who were his close friends). After few months the person confessed to his friends about the mishap that had happened asking for forgiveness and offered to pay the loses in small instalments. (The friends had done voice recording of the confession without the person's knowledge) . The main person leading the burglary was another man who took the items from the house and gave few items to this person who is now being investigated by the police. since the time of the robbery that man hasn't made any contact with the person being investigated so now that person is left alone to face the law when he was only caught up in the moment and was afraid to return the stolen goods to the family. however after few months he returned some of the items in his possession to his friends and offered to pay money for loss of other things that he had. Please note there is no way of tracking the main offender as he seems to have vanished in thin air. His surname is ***** ***** the 2 men became friends in a pub. What are the person's options now in terms of legal charges etc. Thanks
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

I am just reading this now

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

The police will often invite a suspect to come in and have a discussion about the case. But this is never actually any more than an attempt to gather evidence. The only information this person needs to give is his name address and occupation. He has no legal obligation to say anything about the offending, or give any explanation. In a situation like this where some evidence has been gathered, possibly without his knowledge, he is better off not saying anything at all. He should tell the police in the politest way, that because of the passage of time it would be unwise to make any comment. They cannot force him comment and if they persist, he can continue to say that he does not want to comment.

Of course it is possible that there is enough evidence to charge him with breaking and entering based on the recording of the confession and what his friends have said. If they charge him he has the option of pleading guilty if the evidence is strong. If he has not committed any previous similar offences, he is likely to get community work or possibly home detention rather than jail based on the facts you describe

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If the person confesses to the police out of goodness of his heart, would the out come be different ? Will it be possible to settle out of the Court so that it doesn't go to the record? Its unclear as to whether the friends have laid the charge or insurance company who may have compensated the lost property.
Is the law obligated to inform the person's employer if he is charged with community work or home detention? Can the offender still go to work whilst being under home detention ?
Whats the worst possible out come if offender convicted guilty since the lost property is worth of several thousands ?
Would the person also pay the fine on top of home detention and community work ?
If needed be your service are you able to represent in the Court ? Or any recommendation ?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

If the person decides to confess, and does so at an early stage this can help with the sentence. However once the police have become involved they will continue until there is a conviction and this will mean a sentence which goes on his record. In some cases if this is a first offence, and there has been full cooperation and full compensation, he could get discharged without conviction but it would be marginal for a breaking and entering charge, and he would need to instruct a lawyer to make the full written application which is necessary.

The police do not as a matter of course notify his employer, but they may find out especially if he is on home detention, because he would need to get their support to continue working. Home detention means that he stays at home unless he gets permission to go to work from a probation officer, which would of necessity mean discussion with the employer.

He is likely to be ordered to pay reparation for the lost property, but if he gets a fine that would be an alternative to home detention or community work, but would involve an arrangement to pay out of his wages. The court handles applications to pay reparation and fines and he would have to explain the circumstances, but generally he would be able to pay this off. We do not handle individual cases on this site but I can certainly recommend a lawyer if you tell me the city.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They are manipulating the situation by claiming lot of golds, diamonds, and other things which cost 80 thousand $ which is not true. Offender returned some of the items to the couple after his confession. But its lot of money getting involved according to the claim. If the offender pleading guilty in the court, how can he proof the worth of lost property is untrue and fake? Will he end up paying off every thing that is claimed ? They did voice recording of the confession with out the knowledge of the offender - Can they legally use the recording in the Court as the evidence?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

It is always open to challenge the facts alleged by the complainant. In some cases it is necessary to have what is called a contested facts hearing to challenge this sort of claim. The police will make their own assessment of the claims, and if they think that the complainant is exaggerating the claim they may not prosecute. If you think that the complainant is exaggerating what was taken, and you have some reason for doing so, the police should be told about this. It would be a crime for example, to make a claim against insurance for a list of valuable items which were not actually stolen

The voice recording could be used in court as evidence. Even though he was not aware of the recording, it still has some value as evidence.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The offender did the burglary under the influence of alcohol and there was another person involved in it and took half of the stolen property and disappeared after the incident. There is no proper information about him as well. Since the offender and victim used to be family friends and so on, offender confessed himself and return what ever the stolen property that he had but victim just made the evidence out of it through the voice record and video recording etc... So that they have pretty much good evidence now. Do you think in this situation can offender confess it to police too? so that Police could get a clue about the person who disappeared from the crime scene ? Also offender can tell the Police about the exaggeration of the worth of stolen property? How long the conviction record will be out there? Should the record go to the different country's data files? Will he be able to travel to Australia? Can he apply for NZ passport in the future ? Thanks
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

He should be very cautious about going to the police. If he wants to make a confession, then I suggest he instructs a lawyer to talk about the evidence and to go with him to make the statement to the police. The problem with the other offender is that if he does not know the details, the police will blame him for the entire burglary. He can tell them what was actually taken, and the police will need to make a decision on who they believe.

Once he is convicted, the record is permanent. Burglary is generally too serious to be covered by the Criminal Records Clean Slate Act which permits concealment of minor offences over seven years old. The record of the conviction will not be sent to other countries. However if he makes a visa application, he will have to declare the conviction. A conviction will not stop him getting a passport, and may cause problems with getting a visa, although most countries are more concerned about drug offences or violence.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Meaning He doesn't have to tell anything to Police at this point when he will be interviewed by a Police officer? He can tell the Police that he wish not to comment at this point -isn't it ? Can Police arrest him for it until he is submitted to the court ? Do you suggest any good lawyer can help us in this matter. Its in North Shore court in Auckland.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

Try this lawyer

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

He does not need to tell the police anything if he does not wish to do so. With the confession, they are likely to arrest him and bail him to appear in court. When he gets to court, he is likely to get bail again as this is I think his first offence

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If he wish not to tell anything to the Police, Can they still arrest him with the proof they might have ? Police came to his place with a search warrant but he was not home, so he was asked to contact to the Police station. Do you think if they can arrest him either way they can do it, right ? but a lawyer can make a difference I guess ?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

They can still arrest him so getting a lawyer to go with him will help make sure he gets bail

Related New Zealand Law Questions