Usually you see burglary and robbery as interchangeable words. That makes sense because they are both property crimes involving the theft of property from an individual or unlawfully entering a building with the intent to steal. Unfortunately, the law makes a distinction between the two based upon the circumstances surrounding each act, and there are varying degrees of both.
With burglary, you enter a home or other structure without permission, and you use the breaking and entering to commit another offense. Most likely theft is committed, but the intent is not limited to just theft. It is unusual for you to see a victim during burglary, and one does not have to be present for burglary to take place. Burglary of a vehicle is included in the law.
Burglary can be either a misdemeanor or a felony crime. It is a Class A misdemeanor if you burglarize a car. You can get up to 1 year in county jail and a potential fine of up to $4,000. If you commit burglary on a building other than a residence, it is also a Class A misdemeanor but with 180 days to 2 years in state prison with a possible fine up to $10,000. Burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit theft or attempting to commit theft is a 2nd Degree Felony with the punishment of 2 to 20 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000. However, burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit or attempting to commit a felony other than theft is a 1st Degree Felony. You could face 5 to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the burglary.
Robbery occurs when you take or try to take something from someone that has value by using intimidation, force, or threats. A victim must be present or the crime is not robbery. If you use a weapon, it is called “armed robbery.” Weapons are not necessary for robbery to occur. If you use the victim’s address against them and say, “I know where you live. Don’t tell the police,” it is still robbery. Those types of threats are generally enough to subdue victims into compliance. If you cause bodily injury, use a deadly weapon, or place another person in fear of imminent bodily injury, you just committed aggravated robbery.
If theft is committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another or intentionally or knowingly threatened or put another in fear of bodily injury or death, the penal code says you committed a 2nd Degree Felony. You could face 2 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of no more than $10,000. If you committed aggravated robbery, you will face 1st Degree Felony robbery charges with a punishment of 5 to 99 years in state prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.
The clarification between burglary and robbery is extremely important in your case. Defining the circumstances behind your actions will determine your defense options. You need an attorney with over a decade of experience at prosecuting cases to help shed light on what can happen to you. You need to call the Law Office of Brian Corrigan at 214-762-6302. He is a Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney that will help you understand every step in your case and won’t mislead you or promise anything he can’t deliver.