Burglary and robbery are two different crimes in Florida, each with their own definitions and penalties. Many people use the words as synonyms despite the fact that there are some significant and important distinctions between the two crimes. Here is a brief overview on how the crimes differ.
When someone comes home to discover all their possessions have been stolen, their first thought is “I’ve been robbed!” This is untrue. What has actually occurred was not a robbery, but a burglary.
While the definition of burglary is often mistaken as only breaking and entering a home, burglary is unlawfully entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime. This could involve reaching into a car window to grab an item out of the vehicle. Being charged with burglary, you might face severe penalties including imprisonment and a criminal record as a felon.
A victim does not have to be present for a burglary to occur. As long as the structure is unlawfully entered, a person can be charged with burglary. However, if the structure is occupied, it is a much more serious charge. A structure can count as many different things. Breaking into an office, home, or even a shed could lead to a burglary charge.
Robbery is the taking of property through force or the threat of force which places another in fear. The potential sentences vary based upon the type and amount of force used. These types of offenses can include strong-arm robbery, armed robbery, attempted robbery or even carjacking. A robbery can only take place if there is a victim present at the time of the crime being committed.
Because of the presence of a victim, those charged with robbery are facing felony charges. Penalties vary depending on how much force was used and if a weapon was involved during the crime. However, even if a weapon was not used, a robbery offense can result in up to 15 years in prison.
Aside from prosecution and possible prison time, a robbery or burglary charge carries a felony conviction. Contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at KLG to find out how we will fight for you!