What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

Published On: November 8, 20220 Comments on What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?Tags: Last Updated: January 21, 20242.7 min read

Robbery and burglary are used interchangeably, but they’re different crimes. Burglary means getting into a building illegally, while robbery is about taking something via threats or fear of harm. Robbery is categorized as a violent crime, whereas burglary is illegal entry into a residential building to commit a crime.


When learning about the differences, it’s crucial to understand when every crime happens.

When Do Burglary and Robbery Happen?

A burglary happens when a person gets into a building without the owner’s knowledge to commit an offense. Investigating and solving a burglary crime is much easier, especially if a unique item is stolen. On the other hand, robbery happens when a person takes something in the owner’s presence using threats or force. These crimes are simple to assess and easily solved compared to burglaries, especially where specific products are taken.

The Primary Differences

When someone is on trial for a theft offense, they must face the correct charges. But if the penalties become more severe, there is a need to engage a criminal defense attorney to be proven guilty. The most crucial differences between these two offenses deal with two key aspects. Robbery involves the intention of harming others when a weapon is used. In contrast, burglary intends to steal an item from the building. But these are two severe offenses that could lead to harsh punishment. Burglary is more complex, especially if the property owner finds the culprit. But in most cases, burglary doesn’t result in injuries or violence. In comparison, robbery has one or more culprits involved. The incidents mainly result in psychological damage and fear that the victim’s life could be at stake.



Even if burglary involves theft, the culprit doesn’t need to steal anything to get a criminal conviction. In contrast, robbery entails theft and taking something from the property owner. Most burglary regulations state that the intended offense must be an offense or any form of theft. Other state laws show that if someone enters a property with an assault or theft intention, it’s a burglary conviction.

The Punishments and Consequences

When someone faces burglary or robbery charges, sentences are primarily harsh and severe. But their records are accounted for, and the extent of the crimes is considered. Depending on different case aspects, burglary can result in twenty years of jail time with fines and penalties of more than $1,000. But the robbery crime may end up with a 2–5-year jail term. For significant severity, the sentence can extend to nine years.

Force or Fear

Burglary and robbery vary in the kind of force used. The force is against an individual entering a premise, especially for a burglary conviction. Robbery involves the application of force or intimidation against another individual. For a robbery conviction, the culprit applies violence or threat of violence to get a valuable item directly.


Robbery and burglary are two prevalent crimes that people have to live with. Again, criminal penalties and sentencing terms can differ from state to state. Most states have come up with ways to keep residents secure. Click here to learn about authorized ADT Safe Streets home security packages to enhance your security.

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