Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Burglary" and "Robbery" Don't Mean the Same Thing.

Robbery and Burglary are often used interchangeably by the general public.  “Some Ahole burglarized my car.” or “My house got robbed last night.”  But Robbery and Burglary are 2 very different crimes.  Today, we’re gonna talk about the differences between the two – so that next time you’re at a party and someone screws it up, you can point that out.  That’ll make you really popular.

The Kentucky statute that governs Robbery in the Second Degree is located at KRS 515.030, and states:

 (1) A person is guilty of robbery in the second degree when, in the course of committing theft, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with intent to accomplish the theft.
(2) Robbery in the second degree is a Class C felony.

Basically, we’re dealing with stealing from another person by use of force or threat of force.  The definition of robbery doesn’t usually surprise people – but the definition of Burglary usually does.  Let’s check out KRS 511.030 and we’ll get the basic scoop on Burglary.

 (1) A person is guilty of burglary in the second degree when, with the intent to commit a crime, he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling.
(2) Burglary in the second degree is a Class C felony.

So Burglary means that you entered a dwelling (and for the purpose of this conversation that means any building owned by another person) with the intent to commit a crime, and you did not have permission to be in that building.

The primary differences between Robbery and Burglary are 1) Burglary involves being in a building unlawfully, and Robbery does not; and 2) Robbery is a theft crime and Burglary is not necessarily a theft crime.  While it is true that often Burglary involves stealing, it doesn’t have to.  Example?  Sure.

Let’s say you broke into your enemy’s home for the purpose of urinating on the rug.  Let’s assume this rug REALLY tied the room together.*  Once you break into the home with the intent to commit that particular bit of criminal mischief, you have burglarized the home.  It does NOT matter if you actually carry out the act of rug pissing.  Breaking in with the intent to micturate upon it is sufficient to make you guilty of Burglary.

This blog post is not intended to be a full spectrum analysis of the differing degrees of Robbery and Burglary – just know that each of those crimes can be made more serious depending on whether weapons are involved.

So there you have it.  Robbery means “Stick-up” in the parlance of the 1950s*, while Burglary involves being unlawfully in a home with the intent to commit a crime.

For any more questions on Burglary, Robbery or the difference between the two, feel free to give me a call.  502.473.6464.

* Did it not?  #shutupdonnie


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