What's the Difference Between Burglary & Robbery?

The terms burglary and robbery are often confused by those with little knowledge of the criminal justice system. While these crimes are similar, there are key differences that affect how they are charged and what kinds of penalties they carry.

Distinguishing Between Burglary & Robbery

To put it simply, the key difference is robbery involves the use of force or threat of force while committing theft, while burglary involves entering property to commit theft. Both involve varying penalties depending on the circumstances. 

  • Burglary involves unlawful entry into a home, business, or other property with the intention to commit a theft when the owner is not present. An example of burglary would be entering a person’s house and taking items while the owner is away at work. Burglary can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the crime.
  • Robbery, on the other hand, is always a felony crime, as it involves trying to take something (or someone) using force or threat of force. Where burglary does not involve the presence of a victim, robbery does. An example of a robbery would be entering a business and demanding money from a safe while threatening employees with a weapon.

Other Types of Theft Crimes

Burglary and robbery are just two types of theft crimes. Other theft crimes include:

  • Grand theft: Grand theft involves the intentional taking of property exceeding the state statutory amount. In Arizona, the theft of more than $1,000 worth of property, or the theft of a weapon or an animal for the purpose of fighting, can be considered grand theft.
  • Extortion: Extortion involves forcing someone to do something against his or her will by threatening them with financial hardship, damage to reputation, violence, or property damage.
  • Larceny: Larceny typically refers to nonviolent theft of another’s personal property that does not involve illegal entry. The only exception is the burglary of a motor vehicle, which is classified as larceny.

While many of these theft crimes may sound similar, the distinctions are important from a criminal defense perspective. Knowing exactly how to handle a certain charge is key to defending an accused person. At Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C., we’ve handled everything from shoplifting to first-degree burglary. No matter what type of theft charge you are facing, our team stands ready to help.

Experienced Theft Crime Attorney in Phoenix, AZ

Accused of burglary, robbery, or another theft crime? Do not delay in contacting Suzuki Law Offices Highly rated and trusted throughout the state, you can trust that our team has what it takes to apply an aggressive and thorough defense on your behalf. Prosecutors punish theft crimes harshly, so it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights. When you choose to work with our firm, you can trust that your best interests are our top priority.

Schedule a free and confidential case evaluation when you call (602) 842-6762. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.

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