Although people tend to use the terms larceny, burglary and robbery interchangeably, the truth is that these are three very different crimes. These tend to be lumped together because they all involve taking someone else’s property against their will, but they have different requirements.
To be sure you understand the charges that you’re facing, you should know the difference between these terms. Here’s what you should know.
What is larceny?
Larceny, otherwise known as theft, is a common crime. It refers to taking someone’s property without permission and intending to deprive them of it. Common forms of larceny include shoplifting or taking an item from a friend’s home without permission.
What is robbery?
Robberies differ from larceny because robbery involves taking property from a person using a threat of force or force itself. A robbery can only occur if the property was taken from a person, such as by taking someone’s purse or making them give you an expensive bracelet that they were wearing.
Sometimes, robbery does include violence, but it doesn’t always. A threat of violence is enough to be charged with robbery.
What is a burglary?
Burglaries are different than thefts or robberies because a person needs to break and enter into a property. They must also intend to commit a criminal act while inside, such as breaking into a home to steal a television or other property.
Burglaries can take place in homes, businesses or any other kinds of structures. Breaking in doesn’t necessarily mean that anything has to be broken for the entry to be unlawful. Going into a property through an unlocked window or pushing open an open door could also count. Burglary charges can be pressed even if someone can’t get into the building or isn’t able to commit the crime.
These terms, as you can see, are different despite the misconceptions about them. They come with various charges and penalties. If you’re accused of any of these crimes, you need to understand what that means for you and how to best defend against them. A strong defense may help you protect your rights and freedoms.