Many people use the terms “robbery” and “burglary” interchangeably to refer to the same crime. But did you know that these are actually two different crimes in Texas? While both of these crimes involve theft, they differ in …
Many people use the terms “robbery” and “burglary” interchangeably to refer to the same crime. But did you know that these are actually two different crimes in Texas? While both of these crimes involve theft, they differ in many ways and can carry vastly different penalties upon conviction.
Before we get into the actual definitions of these terms, it’s important to realize that both robbery and burglary are normally considered felonies under Texas law. Felonies are crimes punishable by a minimum of one year or more in prison and can permanently affect a person’s reputation, as well as place considerable restrictions on where they can legally live and work. With that being said, burglary or robbery may sometimes be charged as class A misdemeanors in certain rare cases in which no weapons or violence were used.
WHAT IS ROBBERY?
Robbery is the act of forcing an individual through violence, intimidation or threat to give up their property. Robbery charges can be elevated to aggravated robbery if (1) the defendant used, possessed, or threatened to use a weapon of some kind during the theft, (2) the victim was age 65 years of age or older, or (3) the victim was disabled physically, mentally, or developmentally.
As a second degree felony, a robbery conviction can carry the following penalties:
- Between 2 and 20 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
WHAT IS BURGLARY?
Burglary is the attempt or act of breaking into a building with the intent to commit a crime, most often being theft. Unlike robbery, burglary does not involve the threat of violence. In simple terms, burglary is the act of being somewhere you have no right to be with the intent of doing something illegal.
Penalties for burglary will vary depending on what was burgled, such as a home, a car, or a store. Burglary of a vehicle or building not used as a place of residence is generally charged as a state jail felony and can carry up to two years in jail and fines up to $10,000. Burglary of a home, however, is a second degree felony.
Regardless of the specifics, any sort of theft crime charges can wreak serious havoc on a person’s life and jeopardize their future. If you’ve been arrested for either of these acts, it is urgent you contact the Kyle Law Firm as soon as possible. With more than 60 years of combined legal experience, we can level the playing field against the prosecution’s claims and maximize your chances of securing a reduction or dismissal of your charges.