What Is the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Texas?

Many people use the terms “burglary” and “robbery” interchangeably, but the truth is that there is a difference between the two. In fact, one refers to a more serious crime that comes with more stringent penalties.

If you enter someone’s property without permission with the intention of committing an illegal activity, you may be charged with burglary. According to the Texas code of laws, you can still be charged with the crime even if you did not steal anything. In fact, your entire body does not even need to enter the building. The law states that unlawfully entering the property can involve any part of the body.

By contrast, a robbery refers to a crime in which while you are committing a theft you either cause someone bodily injury or even make someone think that you are going to harm them. For example, if you have a weapon and another person is afraid you might harm them, you could face robbery charges.

Texas does establish penalties for both crimes. The lesser crime, burglary, can be treated as a misdemeanor if you simply steal something from someone’s vehicle. However, it typically charged as a second-degree felony if you enter someone’s home. Burglary can become a first-degree felony if you enter someone’s home and you intended on committing a felony other than felony theft.

Robbery often carries more severe sentences. As a second-degree felony, the charge carries with it up to 20 years in prison as well as fines of up to $10,000. If aggravating factors are present, such as a serious bodily injury or the use of a deadly weapon, the charge could be a first-degree felony with up to 99 years in prison.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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