Robbery and burglary might be synonymous according to the Oxford dictionary,
but the legal definitions of these two
theft crimes are quite different. In fact, burglary is not even a
theft crime in all circumstances.
Burglary can be defined as entering someone’s property with the intention
of committing a crime. People have come to assume that burglary is automatically
a theft crime solely because most perpetrators who are caught burglarizing
an establishment are doing so to steal something of value. Furthermore,
breaking into and entering a building is not even required for a burglary
charge, you simply need to be there to commit a crime and put some portion
of your body inside the structure, like your leg or arm.
Imagine the following scenario: A man enters a retail location during its
normal hours of operation and acts suspicious enough to draw attention,
and eventually the police detain him. He admits he was there to assault
an employee but could not locate them. Although nothing was stolen, or
even attempted to be stolen, and no property was damaged upon entrance,
the man could be charged with burglary.
is a theft crime in all cases, and is defined in legal statutes as taking
something from someone with force. The ‘force’ in question
does not need to be physical violence but merely the threat of it, such
as saying you will hit someone if they do not hand you their wallet. The
‘something’ in robbery does not have to be an item directly
owned by the victim but just something they control, such as money out
of a cash register drawer. But in every case of robbery, stealing, violence,
and a victim’s presence is involved in one way or another.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
The differences between robbery and burglary can start to feel moot if
you are the one being accused of a theft crime. Either way, the consequences
could include high fines to the state, restitution to the alleged victim,
and time spent in jail or prison, depending on the value of the item that
was stolen. If you live in Southern California, let our Riverside criminal
defense attorneys from Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich represent
and defend you.
Call us at 951.687.6003 to schedule your
free initial consultation.