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What's The Difference Among a Robbery, Burglary, and Theft?

The legal system is full of different terms used to define specific crimes. Often these crimes may sound the same or seem similar in their acts, but they are not interchangeable in their meanings or in their charges. There's a distinct difference among a robbery, a burglary, and a theft.

Robbery, Burglary, and Theft

The differences vary in the location that the crime was committed, the manner in which the crime was committed, and if there was person-to-person interaction among other factors.

What Is Considered Robbery?

A robbery is a person-to-person interaction that involves fear or force during the taking of the property. A robbery that happens inside of the victim's home or vehicle or even at an ATM is almost always a first-degree felony.

What Is Considered Burglary?

A burglary is the act of entering a building with the intention of theft. These can either be classified as a first-degree felony when the burglar enters the home or living space of another or as a second-degree felony when entering a store or office building. On a rare occasion, the burglarizing of a store or office may be considered only a misdemeanor.

What Is Considered Theft?

Theft is the taking of someone's property but does not require the owner to be present or any kind of person-to-person interaction. This would include shoplifting or any similar acts.

Theft has two degrees:

  • Petty theft valued at less than $400
  • Grand theft valued at more than $400

Depending on the type of property, value, and circumstance theft can be charged as an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. Petty thefts tend to be either an infraction or misdemeanor, while grand theft charges are more often considered felonies.

If you or someone you know is charged with any of the above crimes, it's wise to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Give Russell Spatz a call today at (305) 422-0200. With over 30 years of experience, he's worked with a myriad of cases.


(2019, March 13). Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0812/Sections/0812.014.html

(2019, March 13). Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=burglary&URL=0800-0899/0810/Sections/0810.02.html

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