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Burglary, Robbery, Theft and Larceny

In everyday conversation we tend to use the words 'robbery,' 'burglary' and 'theft' almost interchangeably. As legal terms, however, these crimes have important differences that may determine the length of a prison sentence or probation.

Theft and larceny may be used interchangeably. Theft occurs when you take something without the intention of returning it. You commit theft when you shoplift from a department store or steal money from the cash register at your job. The severity of the crime depends on the value of the property stolen. In Texas, a theft of property worth less than $50 is only considered a Class C misdemeanor. However, a theft of over $250,000 equates to a first-degree felony.

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure with the intention to commit a felony, theft, or assault. There are three types of burglary in Texas.

  • Burglary of a non-habitation structure (such as an office building) is punishable as a third-degree felony.
  • Burglary of a habitation (such as a home or apartment) is punishable as a second-degree felony.
  • Burglary of a habitation in which the burglar commits or intends to commit a felony other than theft is punishable as a first-degree felony.

Robbery is theft committed using either force or the threat of force. Robbery includes crimes such as mugging a pedestrian, stealing a purse, and taking money from a cashier at gunpoint. Robbery is usually split into two categories: robbery and aggravated robbery.

  • Robbery occurs when someone commits a theft and either a) causes bodily injury to another, or b) threatens to do so. Robbery is considered a second-degree felony.
  • Aggravated Robbery occurs when someone commits a theft and either a) causes serious bodily injury to another, b) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon, or c) causes bodily injury or threatens to do so to an elderly individual or disabled person. Aggravated Robbery is considered a first-degree felony in Texas.

When you've been charged with robbery, burglary or theft, you need a strong legal defense team to stand up for your rights and make sure you get a fair trial. Contact the Kyle Law Firm today to set up a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys.

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