A Look at the Crimes of Robbery and Burglary

You hear the terms robbery and burglary used all the time in common day conversation.  But what do those terms really mean?  Today’s blog looks at the crimes of Robbery and Burglary and explains what they are and how they are different.
Robbery
When you think of the term of robbery think of someone taking something from someone else using force.  The statute reads,
A person who knowingly or intentionally takes property from another person or from the presence of another person:
(1) by using or threatening the use of force on any person; or
(2) by putting any person in fear;
commits robbery.
However, the crime is a more serious felony if the Defendant uses a deadly weapon while committing the robbery and even a higher felony if it results in serious bodily injury to another person.

Burglary
When it comes to burglary think of the classic breaking and entering type of crime.  If someone breaks and enters a structure with the intent to commit a felony then they have committed the crime of burglary.  The Statute reads:
“A person who breaks and enters the building or structure of another person, with intent to commit a felony in it, commits burglary.”
There are facts that can make the crime a more serious felony.  If the building is someone’s home (referred to as dwelling) or if the structure is a place of religious worship, then the burglary is a more serious felony.  The crime is an even more serious felony if it results in bodily injury to another person while it is committed.
Therefore, a classic example of a robbery is when a gunmen walks into a convenience store, pulls out a gun and demands all the cash in the register.  This example would be a more serious form of robbery in that it involves the use of a deadly weapon.
The classic example of burglary is when a person breaks into someone’s home while they are gone and steals their property.  Under this example, it is a more serious level of felony, because the structure is someone’s home.  Should someone break into a business and steal from it while it is closed, then it would be a lower level felony.
If you have been charged with robbery or burglary there are a number of defenses to these crimes that may come into play.  One of the most common defenses is identity.  The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person they charged is the person that committed the crime.  Many times in the case of robbery and burglary the situation is one of such heightened emotion that the identifications of a suspect by a witness may not be reliable. In the case of robbery, was the use of force used or threatened?  If someone just takes property from another person, then that is a theft.  Theft is a much less serious felony and may be a good defense to a charge of robbery.
When it comes to burglary it may be a defense that you did not break and enter.  If a structure is entered with permission or through an open door, then burglary may not be a correct charge.  Additionally, if a person breaks and enters but had no intent to commit a felony, then the crime may just be trespass or residential entry, both much less serious crimes than burglary.
If you have been charged with the crime of burglary or robbery you need the qualified Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower to defend you.  Call our office today for a free consultation.  Click here for our contact information. 

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