Burglary and robbery are terms that are often used interchangeably, but their legal definitions are quite different. What they do share in common is that they can lead to serious legal penalties. If you have been accused of a theft crime or you suspect you might be under investigation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Denver, CO, right away. A robbery lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and build an effective defense on your behalf.
Robbery is a type of theft crime. The legal definition of a theft crime is the act of taking property that does not belong to you, despite not having the owner’s consent. It also involves the intention of permanently depriving the owner of that property. Robbery involves all of these elements of theft, but with the additional element of directly taking property from the owner using force or even the mere threat of force. For example, if Mary walks into a department store, takes a handbag from a display rack, and walks out without paying for it, this would be considered theft. If Mary forcibly takes a handbag from another customer, this is robbery. It’s also considered to be robbery if Mary demands the money in the cash register, informing the store clerk that she has a knife or a gun. It isn’t necessary for injuries to actually be inflicted, as the threat of force is sufficient to meet the legal definition.
When a criminal defense attorney agrees to take a burglary case, that case could involve an element of theft. However, unlike robbery, it isn’t necessary for the defendant to unlawfully deprive someone of property to be convicted. As your felony defense attorney can advise you, burglary is a crime of intent. It involves the unlawful entry into a dwelling or other building with the intent to commit another crime. A person can be charged with burglary even if the secondary crime was never committed. It’s also possible to be charged with burglary even if the unlawful entry wasn’t forced.