Robbery Vs. Burglary:

No, They Are Not The Same.

The difference between a robbery and a burglary confuses many people and is often misused in many places, including reputable places such as well written books and articles. The difference can best be remembered by the slang terms. A robbery is commonly known as a “holdup” or a “stick up” and a burglary as a ” break in” or “breaking and entering”.



Robbery is defined as the taking or attempting to take something of value from another person by force, threats or intimidation. This involves a robber and a victim, and can be considered a “holdup” or a “mugging”. If the suspect makes the victim believe he has a deadly weapon, it is called aggravated robbery. The weapon can be displayed or just implied to be considered an aggravated robbery.



Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a theft. The structure is usually defined as a physical building and not a vehicle. Burglary can further be broken down into forcible and non-forcible entry. Forcible entry is when the suspect forces his or her way into a structure by breaking a window, door, roof, etc. or if tools are used to perform breaking in like picking a lock or cutting a hole in a wall. Non-forcible entry is considered when the suspect gains entry through an unlocked door or window with the intent to commit a felony or theft.

The definitions and degrees of both robbery and burglary can vary from state to state and within each jurisdiction. Consult a legal adviser or a police officer if you want a more legal definition.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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