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The Differences Between Burglary and Robbery

The Differences Between Burglary and Robbery


It's sometimes difficult to understand that words can have different definitions in a court than they do on the street, but it's always easy to confuse burglary with robbery.

In Pennsylvania, burglary consists of entering any structure illegally with the intention of committing a crime inside. This is a felony charge, and doesn't actually require you to steal anything. Technically, you don't even have to commit a crime inside a building, you just need to have had the intention of doing so. Of course, if you don't actually do it, it may be hard to convince a judge or jury that you intended to, but if you write a letter stating your intentions, or post on Twitter saying you intend to steal something, you may be arrested and charged with burglary as soon as you enter the property, whether you've stolen anything or not. You don't even need to have broken in… Walking through an open door on a property in which you aren't allowed is enough!

A robbery, on the other hand, usually involves directly taking something from someone else's person, but not just by physical force. Threats or coercion alone will also suffice, even if you didn't intend to follow through with them!

These are both felonies, and without the proper representation you could face up to twenty years in prison. This is an extremely serious matter, and these crimes are both easy to commit without even intending to. A good attorney will look out for your best interest and make sure that you don't suffer punishment that you don't deserve!