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The differences between theft, burglary and robbery

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Property crimes come in all shapes and sizes. Those facing accusations of a property crime may find themselves confused by the technical terms or jargon used to describe property crimes.

Someone facing a basic theft accusation will likely face different charges and penalties than someone accused of robbery or burglary. What are the main differences between these three different kinds of property crimes under Kentucky law?

Theft is the misappropriation of someone else’s property

Taking money or assets that belong to someone else with the intent to deprive them of that value permanently is best. Shoplifting is a form of theft, and so is taking the potted plants off of someone’s front porch.

The charges someone faces for a theft offense depend on any aggravating factors that might alter the charges and the overall value of the property involved. The theft of property worth less than $1,000 is usually a misdemeanor, but stealing property worth more than $1,000, firearms or controlled substances will usually mean felony charges.

Burglary involves theft and illegal access to someone’s property

Burglary is a crime that has the potential to lead to violence. It involves someone entering the business or residence without permission and they should not be there or entering the property legally and then staying without the knowledge or consent of the owner.

Breaking into someone’s home is burglary, and so is hiding in the bathroom of a retailer so that you can steal merchandise after they close for the night. The penalties for burglary include up to 20 years in prison, as it is a felony offense.

Robbery involves taking property directly from a person 

Like burglary, robbery is an aggravated form of theft because it has a strong association with violence. It may involve threatening or intimidating someone, possibly with a weapon. Robbery is a serious theft offense in Georgia and is a felony charge. The penalties include up to 20 years in prison depending on the circumstances and the class of the offense.

Understanding the differences between different forms of theft crimes can help you defend yourself against pending charges. Reaching out for support when you face theft crimes can make all the difference. Our firm is ready to help you review your case and explore what defense options you may have available, and it only takes a few clicks to contact us.