What is the difference between robbery and burglary?

| Nov 14, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Let’s say you were house-sitting for a friend while they are out of town. You were settling in for a quiet night when you hear a loud banging at the door. When you answer the door, it’s the police, and they detain you while they search the residence. In their search, they find a gun, which you have the legal right to possess.

From the police’s perspective, it looks like you intended to burglarize the place. Especially since your friend’s neighbor called them saying the homeowner is out of town.

It gets worse. The police inform you that a couple of blocks away, someone matching your description robbed someone who was out walking their dog.

You are in disbelief. You don’t even know what exactly robbery or burglary is, let alone would you commit them.

What is burglary?

A burglary occurs when someone knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime. In Kentucky, there are three degrees of burglary charges. The first sentence in this section describes second and third-degree burglary.

Burglary in the first degree is when the trespasser:

  • Is armed with a deadly weapon
  • Physically injures someone who is not participating in the crime
  • Uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument against someone who is not a participant in the crime

In this scenario, you would be charged with burglary in the first degree because you had a firearm, which is a deadly weapon.

The classification of these charges is:

  • Burglary in the first degree is a class B felony
  • Burglary in the second degree is a Class C felony
  • Burglary in the third degree is a Class D felony

What is robbery?

Second degree robbery is when someone while committing theft, uses or threatens physical force upon another person. It becomes first degree robbery when they:

  • Physically injure someone who is not a participant in the crime
  • Are armed with a deadly weapon
  • Use or threaten using a dangerous instrument on someone who is not a participant in the crime

The classification of these charges is:

  • First degree robbery is a class C felony
  • Second degree robbery is a class C felony

Fighting back

If you are an innocent person facing criminal charges, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can advocate for you in court and attempt to set the record straight.