What is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

There are a lot of different terms used when it comes to stealing. Some of these terms include theft, larceny, robbery, and burglary. Often, these terms are used interchangeably. But, they all have different meanings and different penalties in the eyes of the law. Read on to learn about the difference between robbery and burglary in New Jersey.

What is Burglary?

In New Jersey, burglary occurs place when a person trespasses or unlawfully enters a property to commit any crime. There does not need to be an encounter with another person, and property does not actually need to be taken. In New Jersey, burglary is typically considered to be a third-degree offense. But, the charge can be increased to a second-degree offense if there is a deadly weapon or the threat of injury involved.

The penalties for burglary include:

  • Third-degree burglary: 3 to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $15,000.
  • Second-degree burglary: 5 to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.

What is Robbery?

In New Jersey, offenders can be charged with first or second-degree robbery. Second-degree robbery is seen as a violent crime. First-degree robbery occurs when the individual committing the theft attempts to kill or seriously harm another person, commits or threatens to commit any crime in the first or second-degree, or is armed with a weapon, uses a weapon, or threatens to use a weapon.

The penalties for robbery include:

Second-degree robbery: 5-10 years in prison.

First-degree robbery: 10-20 years in prison.

So, what is the difference?

In short, burglary occurs when you simply enter a property intending to commit a crime, and a robbery occurs when your attempts to commit a crime involve violence or the threat of violence.

If you or a loved one has been charged with either burglary or robbery in New Jersey, you will want to retain the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. These crimes are taken seriously and can have severe consequences. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney. We are here to advocate for you and fight on your side. If you are accused of a crime in New Jersey, our firm will explore all possible defenses and legal avenues and work to get your charges reduced or dropped entirely. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need. 

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