The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary in Texas

  • Words describing the act of stealing someone’s property are often confused, but there are actually distinct differences between theft, robbery, and burglary. Whatever the offense is called, if you’ve been charged with stealing property, you will likely want to contact a criminal defense attorney right away to explore options for your criminal defense.

    Let’s take a look at these crimes individually.

     

    Theft (Larceny)

    Theft is defined as the unauthorized taking of another person’s property. In Texas, shoplifting is rolled into this category.

    The penalties for this crime in Texas pertain to the worth of the item or items taken. For example, if you take an item valued at less than $50, the penalty is a Class C misdemeanor and a $500 fine.

     

    Robbery

    It’s true that robbery is still a type of theft; however, the charge actually defines the thief’s actions during the crime, rather than the value of the items taken.

    For example, if you steal an item and, in the process of stealing, intentionally or recklessly cause another person physical or bodily harm (or if the person fears that you will cause them physical harm), then the crime becomes robbery.

    It’s the difference between taking a wallet left out on a counter and forcefully removing a wallet from someone’s hands.

     

    Burglary

    Burglary is the more serious of these offenses and involves the deliberate act of breaking into another person’s property with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault.

    Even if the burglary was not completed because an alarm went off inside the home or property and scared you away, if you went there with the intent to commit a crime, you can still be found guilty of burglary.

     

    Get Help Today

    The laws surrounding theft, burglary, and robbery can get confusing, but you don’t need to understand them completely to realize you might be in trouble. If you believe you’ve been charged with any crime related to stealing, a defense attorney can help you understand your options and build you a strong defense.

    Contact the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy at 817-605-1010 or visit our website for more details on how we can defend you against a theft-related charge.