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Understanding the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery

  • December 4, 2013

It is not unusual for people who have been victims of crime to put forth claims of either being robbed or burglarized. As much as many use these terms interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. For this reason, it is vital to have an understanding of the differences in case you have been accused of either one.

What is Burglary?

“This is a term that is used to describe the crimes that are usually reported as “break ins” or “breaking an entering”. The description of a burglary is that it is an unlawful entry into a structure with the intention of committing theft or any other kind of felony. In the majority of the states, structures refer to physical buildings. This term does not to refer to cars since such crimes are classified under larceny.

Take note that it is not necessary for you to gain forced entry into a physical building and cause damage for you to be accused of a break in. In case you have the intention of committing felony or theft, having uninvited access through an open door or unlocked window is considered as burglary. However, the large percentage of burglaries are inclusive of broken windows, lock picking or some use of a tool to gain entry into the house. Usually, the burglar will have no contact with the victims and they often steal when the structure is unoccupied.

What is Robbery?

In case you are facing robbery charges, then you may be subjected to some severe consequences. A robbery can be described as an act of, or the attempt to take something, which belongs to another. The main difference between burglary and robbery is that during the robbery, the perpetrator may use violence, threat or force in a bid to coerce submission. The majority of bank thefts muggings fall under robbery.

The legal system splits acts of robbery into different degree offenses that vary from among different states. In case you are accused of robbery and you only used verbal threats, then you may fall in one of the categories. If you used a weapon when committing robbery, then you will face harsher and more serious punishments. This is because you will be charged with aggravated robbery if you utilized a weapon or if you made the victim believe that you have got a weapon.

It is imperative for those accused with burglary / robbery to contact a criminal lawyer. Your attorney should work with you in a bid to clarify the charges, negotiate your sentence or clear your name – whichever will be applicable to your specific situation.