Important differences between burglary and robbery charges

Although “burglary” and “robbery” are often used interchangeably in books, movies, and television shows, you quickly realize how different they are when facing criminal charges in Illinois. We frequently represent clients charged with burglary, robbery and other criminal violations of Illinois state law.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, burglary is a property crime. It includes crimes where you allegedly committed or attempted to commit theft. Motor vehicle theft and trespassing are also property crimes. Robbery is a violent crime that involves taking or trying to take an item of value from a person’s care, control or custody by using force or threatening the use of force.

Penalties for burglary

If the court convicts you of burglary, it is generally a Class 2 felony. However, depending on the details of the case, the prosecutor may charge it as a less severe charge. If you have prior convictions, the court might increase the sentence from three to seven years to 15 years and fines could be as costly as $25,000. However, the unique details of your case could result in the reduction of charges to a Class 4 felony or Class A misdemeanor.

Penalties for robbery

In many ways, the penalties for robbery are similar to burglary. They are typically Class 2 felonies with fines of up to $25,000 and three to seven years in prison. However, if the crime involves a weapon, the prosecutor could escalate charges to armed robbery or aggravated robbery. If convicted, there could be a 55-year prison term as part of the penalty.

Although burglary and robbery appear similar in many ways, the law is complex. A strong defense and deep understanding of the law can help minimize charges and move forward with the rest of your life.