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How does robbery differ from burglary?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Recently, police arrested you and charged you with a crime. To mount a solid defense, you want to understand your charges better. Specifically, you want to know the difference between burglary and robbery.

U.S. News & World Report defines the two criminal acts and explains their differences. Learning more about criminal law could help ease your mind about your charges.


Robbery is taking or trying to take an item of value from another person using force, violence or the threat of violence. Even if a person accused of robbery takes nothing of value, charges may stick if a victim experienced fear of force. The two types of robbery include strong-arm robbery, use of physical strength to commit a crime, and armed robbery, use of a weapon to commit a robbery.


The law defines burglary as the illegal entry of a structure to commit theft or a felony. Even if a person accused of burglary does not use force to gain entry into a structure, she or he may still face burglary charges. The categories of burglary include unlawful entry without the use of force, forcible entry and attempted forcible entry. Examples of structures a person may try to enter to commit burglary include stables, offices, parking garages, barns, apartments and railroad cars.

The difference

Burglary is a crime against a thing or building while a robbery is a crime against a person. The biggest difference between the two is how an individual commits a crime. Robbery must include force or fear, while burglary involves escaping notice while committing a crime.

No matter the accusations you face, you still have rights to protect. By getting the facts on your charges, you know how to mount a viable defense.

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