Although it is common for people to use burglary or robbery interchangeably when discussing theft, they are actually considered separate crimes in California and in other states throughout the country.
The main difference between the two theft crimes is the involvement of personal interaction with the victim. For instance, robbery means using force, coercion, and/or threats directed at an individual in order to steal property.
On the other hand, burglary does not require person-to-person interaction, forced entry to a property, or even theft of property. By definition, it means entering a residence or building with an intent to commit a theft or any other felony such as assault or property damage.
Burglaries are wobblers in California, meaning they can be either charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the defendant's criminal history. Residential burglary is a felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of six years, while commercial burglary can result as either a misdemeanor or a felony which carries a prison sentence of up to three years.
All robbery-related crimes are felonies. If a robbery is committed in an occupied dwelling, against individuals using public transportation, or against those using ATM machines, it is considered a first-degree offense. All other instances of robbery are deemed second-degree felonies.
Have You Been Charged with either Burglary or Robbery in Ventura County?
Despite the differences between these two crimes, the one thing they have in common is the serious penalties associated if convicted of either one. If you have been arrested in connection with a theft crime, our Ventura criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Jarrod M. Wilfert is committed to protecting your rights and future. Our goal is to either get your entire case dismissed or your charges substantially reduced to avoid serving jail or prison time.
Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation immediately.