Property crimes are often associated with the theft of items. Those who are facing these types of charges need to understand exactly what constitutes the offense for which they were arrested. While there are some similarities to various criminal charges, there are always elements that differentiate them from each other.

Many people lump robbery and burglary into the same category. While they do have some of the same elements, they are actually very different charges. Here are a few things you need to know about burglary:

Force isn’t required. Burglary charges don’t require that you force your way into a structure. You can face a burglary charge even if you enter through an open door. The key here is that you have to enter the structure with the intent on doing something illegal once you are inside. This could be stealing something, doing illegal drugs or anything else that is against the law.

No people are present inside of the structure. A burglary charge usually means that there wasn’t anyone inside the dwelling when you entered it. For the most part, robbery charges are appropriate when there was another person inside during the alleged incident. T

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not possible for you to be charged with burglary if someone is inside. This is one area in which your intent and actions once inside the building can make a big difference.

Even though these charges seem quite similar, they have legal distinctions. The circumstances of the incident will have a major determination on how you handle your defense. You and your criminal defense attorney can sort through the potential defense strategies to present the most suitable rebuttal to the prosecution’s case against you.

Source: FindLaw, “Burglary Overview,” accessed Jan. 25, 2018