Important Distinctions Between Types of Theft

The difference between robbery, burglary and theft seems slight, but when it comes to your criminal record, has some very important distinctions. Learn more about the types of theft, and their consequences.

Although the terms "robbery", "burglary" and "theft" are sometimes utilized interchangeably when reporting the act of thievery, they all really mean separate things. If you have been accused of any kind of them, itís important to realize the subtle variations and how every one could have an effect on your life.

Theft is merely an intentional effort to acquire someone else's property, with no intention to return it. Until a shopper buys goods from a store, that merchandise belongs to the shop owner. Shoplifting is one example of theft, and determined by the store from where merchandise was acquired, may cause considerable financial harm to a store owner. (A $350 theft won't harm a huge dealer to the extent it might people managing a small company.) Although shoplifting might be minor in comparison to other kinds of theft (fraud, embezzlement and those described here), consequences depends on the cash amount of the objects stolen, and most states have a cut-off point that distinguishes Misdemeanor from Felony depending on the lost merchandise's worth. Penalties range from a number of hours of community service, jail time, the beginning of a criminal background, and being forbidden from the store from which items were taken.

Burglary is another very common sort of theft. A burglar must get into a home with the goal of committing theft. In a lot of legal matters, details are everything, and theft is the same. Even whether a burglar gets in via an open door or locked one plays an important role in the court's decision-making process and extent of repercussions. If not one person is home, the offender is simply a burglar - but when the target is home, and the burglar interacts with he or she in a hurtful way, the burglar could also be facing an aggravated robbery charge down the road.

Robbery is different from burglary in that it happens in the victim's presence, and suggests or explicitly threatens physical harm. Some examples of this are armed bank robberies or retail hold-ups, or a person threatened on the street for his or her billfold. Various other deciding factors, particularly ones that give consideration to the kind of harmful weapon used, may relate and contrast from state to state. Outcomes may include criminal allegations, prison time, counseling, fines and more.

In any incident of theft, many factors are reviewed in the court, the most elementary trying to establish that a burglar removed from the premises somebody else's belongings, with no intent of giving it back to them sooner or later. The theft has to have been intentional, and in cases of robbery, forcefully upon a target who was present at that time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeremy F. Rosenthal
Jeremy F. Rosenthal is a criminal defense attorney in Collin County and Dallas Metroplex area, and is licensed to practice in state courts and in the Federal District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas.

Copyright Rosenthal & Wadas, PLLC
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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