People often use the terms for violent crimes such as robbery and burglary interchangeably but there are a number of legal distinctions that make them separate charges under Pennsylvania law. firearm charges While both charges are similar in that they both can be considered a form of theft, there are none the less, a number of notable differences. The first distinction between the two charges is the classification of the crime. The act of robbery is classified as a violent crime, while the act of burglary is considered a property crime. The act of robbery is considered a violent crime because it typically involves an additional element such as the use of force or violence. Other elements in the definition of robbery include, infliction of serious bodily injury, threats of violence, threats of another crime, putting another in fear of harm, or taking property directly from another person by force however slight.
Another important distinction that separates the violent crimes of robbery and burglary is that robbery involves a victim be present at the time the act was committed, while during a burglary the victim does not necessarily need to present at the time. More on Robbery In order for the use of force be established, which is the essential element of the robbery statute, a victim must be present. The last distinction between robbery and burglary is the degree of the charge. Both charges can range from a felony of the third-degree to a felony of the first-degree, but the degree is based on the individual circumstances of the case. This means that individuals charged with either of these crimes can face up to 20 years in prison. Due to the varying degrees of sentences that can be imposed due to the circumstances surrounding the act, it is important to have adequate legal representation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kelly and Conte can help figure out what the individual circumstances of your case are and can help decide if your charge of robbery or burglary was appropriate given your particular circumstances.