Specific measures are taken to secure and protect personal property. Whether it is in a wallet, purse, pocket, vehicle or home, individuals in Illinois and elsewhere believe that their property is safe. Thus, when property is taken or has gone missing, many presume that it was stolen. As a result, a person could face allegations of theft.
Because the penalties associated with a theft can be harsh, it is imperative that the accused understands the charges they face. How the crime is classified could impact the defense action one takes. Thus, exploring the differences between a robbery and burglary is important, especially if one is accused of a violent crime.
What is a robbery?
In simple terms, this occurs when one takes or attempts to take something of value from someone through force, threat of force or violence or placing the individual in fear of force. This crime is placed in two categories. The first is an armed robbery, which is when a weapon is involved in the crime. The other is a strong-arm robbery, which involved the use of their own physical strength in the course of the crime.
What is burglary?
A burglary is defined as the unlawful entrance into a structure in order to commit a felony or theft. Entry does not need to be forcible. In fact, it could be categorized as forcible, unlawful entry without force or attempted forcible entry. With regards to structure, this could include a home, apartment, trailer home, barn, houseboat, office, railroad car, stable, vessel and the like. Note that automobiles are not included.
Can they be violent?
As the definition implies, a robbery involves force, the treat of force or the fear of force. As such, this is considered a violent crime. A burglary is a crime against property; however, it has the potential to be violent if occupants are encountered during the commission of a burglary. In these matters, it is often stated that a robbery took place during a burglary.
Whether you are accused of a robbery or a burglary, it is important to fully understand the allegations against you. The details of the investigation and evidence used against you can help you better navigate the criminal defense system. This allows you the create the best defense action while also ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
 The post What’s the difference between a burglary and a robbery? first appeared on W. Scott Hanken, Attorney at Law.