a person with a gun robbing someone at a register

The Difference Between Robbery and Burglary

When someone steals something from your car, is it a robbery? A burglary? There are numerous different classifications for theft crimes. Let’s discuss robbery, burglary, and if the criminal penalties differ for each offense.

Defining Robbery

A robbery occurs when an individual steals directly from another individual using the threat of force, or actual force causing harm, to obtain the desired items. For example, if a man walks up to a woman on the street and demands her purse while visibly pointing a knife in her direction. At this moment, the reasonable threat of harm is enough for the woman to comply and give away her belongings. This is a robbery.

Defining Burglary

While still a serious offense, burglary does not require a violent threat. Instead, a burglary occurs when an individual unlawfully enters private property with intent to commit a crime. An example of this would be breaking and entering to steal from the homeowner. Even if the offender does not take anything from the residence, it is still considered burglary.

Potential Criminal Penalties

Both robbery and burglary are serious crimes that can result in felony charges.

Robbery is punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

The potential penalties increase if a weapon was used during the commission of the robbery or if the alleged victim was injured during the robbery.

The penalties for burglary differ depending on the type of residence entered. If it was a home burglary, the crime is punishable by:

  • Two to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

If the offender entered the residence and intended to commit a crime other than theft, the sentence increases to a minimum of five years incarcerated.

Theft Crimes Defense in Texas

Theft crimes are some of the most common offenses in America. Whether you are being charged with shoplifting, robbery, or burglary, our team at Smith & Vinson Law Firm can help defend you and your rights. We have helped numerous clients reach favorable outcomes by crafting strong legal defenses on their behalf. Contact us today to begin working on your case.