Armed Robbery

Robbery vs. Burglary: What’s the Difference?

Many people think that the terms “burglary” and “robbery” mean the same thing, but actually, in the context of North Carolina law, there are some differences between the two.

While the biggest difference is that robbery involves a display of force, whereas burglary doesn’t, there are some additional distinctions that should be understood.

North Carolina Burglary Laws

Burglary in North Carolina is defined as a “nonpermissible breaking and entering into a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime such as a theft.” The state breaks this crime down into two types: first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. If a home is burgled while it is occupied, it is a first-degree burglary but if the home is unoccupied, then it is a second-degree burglary.

It’s also worth noting that a crime is typically only charged as burglary if it’s committed inside a dwelling (aka home). If it’s committed in an office or a store, it can be charged as breaking and entering. If this is done with the intent to commit a crime, or if it’s done in a place of religious worship, the crime will often be charged as felony breaking and entering.

Penalties for Burglary in North Carolina

While prior criminal history does factor into burglary charges, what follows are some guidelines for the penalties someone charged with burglary could face:

  • First-degree burglary is a class D felony punishable by at least 64-80 months in jail
  • Second-degree burglary is a class G felony punishable by at least 8-31 months in jail
  • Breaking and entering in the first degree is a class 1 misdemeanor
  • Breaking and entering with the intent to commit a crime is a class H felony punishable by at least 6 months in jail
  • Breaking and entering into a place of worship is a class G felony punishable by at least 10-13 months in jail

Armed burglary

North Carolina Robbery Laws

For a crime to be charged as robbery, it must be accompanied by violence or by the threat of violence, which means a victim must be involved. If a weapon is involved, and the victim is injured, the crime can be escalated to armed or aggravated robbery. The timing of the violence also factors into how the crime is charged. For example, if violence is used after the act of robbing the victim takes place, it might be charged separately as assault.

Penalties for Robbery in North Carolina

State laws define all forms of robbery as felonies. Because of this, basic robbery charges depend on prior criminal history. Additionally, state statutes define specific penalties for robbery with a dangerous weapon as well as train robbery:

  • Robbery with a dangerous weapon and train robbery are both class D felonies punishable by up to 204 months in jail
  • Other types of robbery are class G felonies punishable by up to 47 months in prison

Robbery and Burglary Lawyers

If you’ve been charged with any variation or robbery or burglary, you need the help of an experienced attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly. The criminal defense lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys are standing by and ready to help. All you have to do is call us at 910-763-1100 or click here to schedule a free consultation.