What's the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery?

Although many individuals use the two terms interchangeably, there is a significant difference between burglary and robbery – both in the definition of the crimes themselves, as well as in the potential consequences. While they are both theft crimes, it is the circumstances of the act which will determine if it is burglary or robbery.

What is Burglary?

If you break into a home to commit a theft crime, you have committed burglary. This is any unlawful entry into a structure for the purposes of committing a theft crime or other felony. The word “structure” is very important, as breaking into a car will be classified as a different crime. This is not limited to homes, as illegally entering offices, detached garages, and sheds can all lead to a burglary charge. A victim does not need to be present at the time of the crime for it to be considered burglary.

  • Must enter a structure unlawfully
  • Generally, no victim will be present
  • In Florida, can be classified as a third, second, or first degree felony

What is Robbery?

If a victim is present at the time the theft crime occurs, it will likely be classified as robbery. Robbery is taking, or trying to take, an item from someone else through the use of force, threat, or intimidation. Unlike burglary, which requires unlawful entry into a structure, robbery can happen anywhere. Many intended burglaries can turn into robberies when residents are unexpectedly at home. This crime is generally a second degree felony, but will typically be a first degree felony if you used a weapon.

  • Can happen anywhere
  • A victim must be present
  • In Florida, can be classified as a second or first degree felony

Charged With a Theft Crime? Call (407) 593-5047.

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Categories: Criminal Law