Being charged with robbery or burglary doesn’t mean you will be convicted of that charge. Did you know that? Read on to learn more about the difference between robbery and burglary and what it means for someone facing these charges.
“Breaking and entering” is the summarized wording often used for robbery and burglary offenses. However, the law is more specific when it comes to these crimes. There are several different laws that would fall into these categories, and the severity of the offense will determine the definition.
What is the difference between Robbery and Burglary?
The California burglary law is primarily covered under Penal Code 459 PC, defined as “Every person who enters any structure with intent to commit grand or petty larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.” A person does not have to actually “break in” or force their way into the structure in order for them to be charged with Burglary.
Robbery in California is actually more relevant when it comes to someone’s personal property rather than entering a structure. Penal Code 211 PC spells out robbery pretty clearly, but each factor has to be met in order for the robbery charge to be given:
A person took property that didn’t belong to them from another person’s possession or immediate presence against that person’s will using force or threats, and when they took the property, they intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or for such an extended period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.
Not only does each criteria above have to be met for it to be considered a crime of robbery, but it doesn’t matter what order or timeline the factors occurred and it’s only robbery when the person is caught or completed the whole crime and got to a safe place. The value of the property is completely irrelevant to the fact of the crime being committed.
Penalties for Robbery and Burglary
When someone is convicted of burglary, it can be considered a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the degree. First degree is a more serious offense, with up to 6 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. Second degree offenses are not as serious and come with up to three years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, depending on if the offense is a felony or misdemeanor.
A robbery conviction is a serious offense and considered a felony. First degree is a more serious offense, with punishments as severe as nine years in jail. Second degree robbery is a lesser offense, with up to five years in jail.
How can Downtown LA Law help you?
With the right attorney on your side, you may get your charges reduced or even dismissed. There are a lot of factors that can influence the outcome of a case. Our attorneys are very skilled in digging deep into a case and verifying all evidence, or even pointing out the lack of evidence. They are experts at representing robbery and burglary cases, determining the legal technicalities, and forcing the burden of proof. Call us today at Downtown LA Law to turn your case around.