What are differences between robbery and burglary?

Robbery and burglary are different crimes, although there is one similarity between the two. Robbery is always a felony charge, while burglary in certain instances may be a misdemeanor. The penalties are severe for defendants convicted of either crime.

So, what are the differences between burglary and robbery? Robbery is the authorized taking of property from someone by the threat or use of force. In other words, if someone says he or she will harm in you in some way if you don’t give the offender your purse, then the threat of force is there and the crime is robbery.

Burglary, on the other hand, is entering into a structure, like a business or home, with the intent to commit a crime. Stealing is not an element of the crime; simply intending to commit a crime is enough for the charge of burglary.

Robbery carries a possible penalty of up to 30 years in prison for robbery-carjacking to up to 15 years for simple robbery. Burglary carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison for burglary with explosives to three years in prison for burglary 4th degree. Only two burglary charges are misdemeanors, burglary 4th degree and breaking and entering-motor vehicle.

As you can see, the penalties can be severe and that is why it is essential to present a strong, well-thought out defense against the charges. Even being charged with either crime can have a detrimental effect on your job, family and social circle. An experienced attorney can help by giving you additional information on robbery and burglary.

Source: FindLaw, “What’s the Difference Between Burglary, Robbery, and Theft?,” Daniel Taylor, Esq., accessed Sep. 23, 2015