The terms robbery, burglary, and theft are often used interchangeably, but these are actually three separate crimes. If you are being charged with one of these crimes, it’s important that you understand what you are being accused of so you can defend yourself appropriately. Here’s the difference between these three serious crimes:
Robbery vs. Theft
In the state of Colorado, you can be charged with theft if you knowingly steal another person’s belongings with the intent to keep this property from the rightful owner. Robbery also involves taking another person’s belongings, but in order to be classified as a robbery, the defendant must have used force, threats, or intimidation while committing the crime. For example, stealing a wallet out of someone’s back pocket would be theft, but pushing the victim to the ground to steal his wallet would be robbery because force is involved.
When you think of burglary, you probably think of someone breaking into a house and stealing valuables. It’s true that this is considered burglary, but this is not the only way that burglary can be committed. Burglary is defined as the act of unlawfully entering onto a property with the intent of committing a crime. The legal definition of burglary does not specify that the crime committed on the property needs to be theft. Therefore, breaking into someone’s house in order to vandalize it would also be considered burglary since vandalism is a crime.
It’s also important to note that you do not need to actually commit a crime while on someone’s property in order to be charged with burglary. As long as the state can show that you had the intent to commit the crime, it doesn’t matter whether you went through with actually doing it.
Each of these crimes carries its own penalties. The penalties that you may face for being convicted of robbery, theft, or burglary will vary depending on the degree of the crime and your prior criminal record, among many other factors. It’s in your best interests to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you learn of the charges against you so you can get a better understanding of the consequences that you may face.
Have you been charged with a robbery, burglary, or theft? Don’t delay any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can defend you against these criminal charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.