Skip to Content

What Is The Difference Between Burglary And Robbery?

robber reaching into someone's car window to take a purse

These two charges are often used interchangeably when we speak. However, they are separate offenses based on the circumstances of the crime.


Burglary occurs when an individual enters another person’s residence or vehicle to steal property or commit another crime.

This definition has changed in recent years. A crime used to be considered a burglary only when something was stolen. Now, you can be charged with burglary for illegally entering another person’s home with the intent to commit a criminal offense such as assault, theft, or sexual assault


The key distinction for a robbery charge is the use of force.
Robbery occurs when the individual:

  • Steals money or property
  • Takes it directly from someone else without permission
  • Uses force or the threat of force

Robbery is typically classified as a violent crime, while burglary is considered a property crime.

Penalties for Robbery and Burglary

Both of these charges come with the potential for severe consequences.

The penalties can be increased if there was a weapon present at the time of the crime, or depending on the type of building that was stolen from.

For a burglary of a motor vehicle, you may be facing:

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Up to 1 year in the county jail

For a burglary charge at a location where people live, you may be facing:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Up to 20 years in prison

If the location was commercial—not residential—the penalties decrease to:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Up to 2 years in state jail

Robbery is a second-degree felony, punishable by:

  • Two to 20 years in prison
  • Fines of up to $10,000

If you are facing robbery or burglary charges, contact us today. At Scott H. Palmer, P.C., our Dallas felony lawyers will fight tirelessly to secure you the best possible outcome.