What's The Difference Between Burglary And Robbery?

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A lot of people confuse burglary and robbery. After all, they both involve stealing from people. However, they are different things. So, what is the definition of burglary and how does it differ from robbery?


While there are some small differences, the definition is overall generally the same, no matter where you go. Burglary involves entering a car, boat, building, house, etc. with the intention of doing something illegal. It doesn't necessarily have to be stealing something. If you enter a building in order to grafiti it, then you may still be able to be charged with burglary. You don't have to steal anything either, the fact that you had the intention to go into that building or car and take something may also be enough to get you charged. You don't have to break into the structure in order for it qualify as burglary, all you have to do is enter without any kind of permission and as a form of trespass.

Burglary can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, it's up to the district attorney as to what they want to do. Burglary is generally considered relatively non-violent, especially since it's likely that someone committing a burglary wants to make sure that either no one is there or that everyone is asleep. 


Robbery is much more violent and forceful. It involves stealing from someone using intimidation or violence in order to get what they want. It can involve breaking and entering into a house or walking into a building and using force.

For example, if you were to break into a house and sneak around to steal when people aren't home or they are asleep and you don't disturb them, then you are committing burglarly. But, if you were to break into their house while everyone is awake or you wake them up and you tie everyone up and threaten to hurt them or brandish a weapon at them, you would be using force or intimidation, and that would move your activity to robbery instead of burglary, even if you still end up with the exact same haul.

The fact that you were using force or intimidtation is the important difference. 

If you are charged with burglary or your family member is, you are going to need to make sure that you get an attorney who is familiar with the differences between the two. Contact offices like Cheryl Brown Attorney at Law for more information.

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