There is often a mix up when it comes to
robbery. The terms used to describe those who commit these crimes are always used
incorrectly, which is easy to do since the crimes are all similar. However,
there are differences between the three crimes that can help distinguish
what to correctly call a criminal or the crime act. So what are they?
Theft is present in all three crimes, but on its own it is considered to
be, “taking something from someone else with the intent of keeping
it from them”. There are several different types of theft including
petty theft and grand theft. The difference between these two types is
a dollar amount. If the items taken value under $400.00, the crime is
considered to be petty theft. Petty theft is usually charged as an infraction,
in which the punishment consists of mostly fines. Infractions for theft
are only given if the crime committer has no prior charges. If the theft
committer has committed theft in the past, the petty theft crime is usually
charged as a misdemeanor. If the items taken value over $400.00, the crime
is said to be grand theft. Grand theft can be charged as a misdemeanor
or felony, depending on prior offenses and the severity of the crime.
Robbery is different than regular theft in the aspect that violence, or
using the threat of violence, has to be involved for the theft, or attempted
theft, to be considered robbery. This crime is a specific intent crime,
meaning that the one committing the crime is knowingly doing so with the
intent to do so. The most common example of robbery is a convenience store
hold up. There are two degrees of robbery, first degree and second degree.
First degree robbery is using violence or the threat of violence to acquire
someone else’s property in an inhabited dwelling, on public transportation
or at an ATM machine. First degree robbery is usually charged as a felony.
Second degree robbery is taking someone else’s property paired with
violence, or the threat of violence, in any other situation. This type
of robbery is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity
of the crime.
Burglary is the intent to enter a building without consent with the intent
to commit a crime. Burglary is also a specific intent crime. The one committing
burglary does not need to enter the premises forcibly to commit the crime.
Entering through an unlocked door or window is enough to be considered
“breaking in”. Burglary also has two degrees, first degree
burglary and second degree burglary. First degree burglary is classified
as committing burglary in a house, apartment or other building that is
inhabited. This type of burglary is usually charged as a felony. In second
degree burglary, the crime is committed in stores or buildings, and this
is can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details
of the crime.
Now that the differences between the three crimes have been explained,
it should be easier to identify them. If you know anyone that has committed
any of these crimes, or have committed them yourself, contact the
Kyle Law Firm for legal counsel today.