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What Is the Difference Between Theft, Robbery and Burglary?

larceny vs burglary

Although robbery, burglary, and theft are terms that are usually used interchangeably in everyday speech, there are some clear differences between them. Charges of robbery, theft, and burglary are frequently connected to stealing another person’s property without authorization. Nevertheless, every charge relates to a distinct criminal offense.

Burglary vs Theft: What’s the Difference?

Theft vs Burglary

Taking someone else’s property or belongings without that person’s permission is called theft. On the other hand, the illegal entry of a property with the intent to steal something from it is called a burglary.

What is the difference between stealing and theft? Stealing is a general term for taking someone else’s property without permission, while theft is a legal term that specifically refers to the unlawful and intentional taking of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it.

What is the key distinguishing point between burglary and home invasion robbery? The key distinguishing point is that burglary involves unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime, such as theft. Home invasion robbery specifically entails forcefully entering a residence with the intent to commit robbery against the occupants inside.

Theft vs Robbery: How Is Robbery Different from Theft?

If someone steals from someone by using force or giving the impression that force will be used, that individual is guilty of robbery. Robbery can include the use of force, menace, or intimidation, whereas theft doesn’t involve the use of force.

What’s the difference between a robbery and a heist? While a robbery typically involves the use of force or threat against individuals to unlawfully take their property, a heist refers to a meticulously planned and often elaborate theft, especially targeting valuable items or large sums of money.

Related: What is crime against a person

Consequences and Penalties for Burglary, Theft, and Robbery

Penalties and consequences of a guilty verdict depend on the type of charge and differ from state to state. For example, theft generally carries a maximum seven-year penalty.
Petty theft carries the lowest fine or the lowest number of days in jail. Misdemeanor theft involves more serious penalties, while individuals who commit felony theft may face a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.

Penalties for robbery or burglary are harsher; robbery is seen as a more serious offense than theft because of its violent nature, and the maximum punishment is life. What about burglary?
In the case of domestic burglary (burglary of a dwelling), the maximum sentence you may face is 14 years. For non-domestic burglary, the maximum sentence is ten years. When it comes to aggravated burglary, the maximum sentence is life.

Differences in Penalties

If you are found guilty of theft, robbery, or burglary, be prepared to face jail time and fines, and there are also additional consequences that could be imposed. Keep in mind that you may be subject to a wide range of criminal penalties and collateral repercussions, depending on the details of your particular case.
Even though the criteria used to establish these violations vary greatly, the penalties are essentially the same. These accusations may ultimately result in:

  • Time on probation
  • Time in prison
  • High court fines

Those who are found guilty of burglary, robbery, or theft are also at risk for the revocation or suspension of their driver’s license. Other types of responsibilities and restrictions may include the following:

  • Completing community service hours
  • Paying restitution to victims
  • Completing a drug or alcohol treatment program
  • Attending group therapy or mental health counseling
  • Revocation of firearm rights
  • Completion of an anger management program
  • Attending anger management classes
  • Denial of job opportunities
  • Loss of visitation rights or child custody
  • Damage to professional or personal reputation
  • Losing financial aid

Defenses Available in Burglary, Theft, and Robbery Cases

Based on the type of charge and guilty verdict, it’s important to come up with a defense strategy that will best benefit you against robbery, theft, or burglary accusations. We provide our clients with personalized defenses while working to show that:

  • They didn’t use fear or force against other people.
  • They have been permitted to take specific items.
  • They have not planned to commit a petty theft or felony.

If you are facing charges related to theft or property crime in Maui, it’s never too soon to start working with our skilled and knowledgeable legal team. In court, our criminal defense lawyers will stand by you and provide a solid defense.

Call Cain & Herren for Help Handling Burglary, Theft, and Robbery Charges

Our criminal defense attorneys in Maui can provide you with legal assistance so you can find out more about these charges. Contact our team for assistance, and we will help you better understand robbery, theft, and burglary. We are here to assist you in fighting any of these charges!

Related: Questions to ask criminal lawyer during consultation

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