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What is the difference between robbery and burglary?

| Mar 1, 2021 | Property Crimes |

Like many people, you may think that robbery and burglary are two words used to describe the same crime.

FindLaw explains, however, that these are two different crimes for which the prosecutor must prove different things in order to convict you.

Robbery

Colorado law defines robbery as the knowing taking of something of value from someone, or in the presence of someone, while threatening or intimidating him or her or using force. The following three types of robbery, all of them felonies, exist in Colorado:

  • Simple robbery
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Aggravated robbery of a controlled substance

Depending on which type of robbery conviction you receive, you could face a prison sentence of from six to 48 years, plus a fine of from $2,000 to $1 million.

Burglary

Colorado law defines burglary as knowingly and unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime once inside. It could be any crime, not just one of property theft. Burglary also includes breaking into a locked container in order to steal its contents. Colorado law provides for first-, second- and third-degree burglary, all of which are felonies.

Depending on which degree of burglary you receive a conviction, you could face a prison sentence of one to six years, plus a fine ranging between $1,000 and $500,000.

Defenses

Obviously, just because law enforcement officers charge you with robbery or burglary does not automatically make you guilty of the charged crime. Possible defenses available to you include the following:

  • Lack of intent
  • Consent on the part of the alleged victim
  • Duress
  • Entrapment

Given that the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, your attorney may be able to use one of these defenses to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.