Robbery is a theft crime that occurs when an individual takes someone else's personal property by use of physical force of threat. Robbery almost always requires the presence of the victim. Burglary, on the other hand, is a more specific offense. In order to commit
burglary, the individual unlawfully enters a structure with the intention of committing a crime.
In most states, robbery must involve the following elements:
- The perpetrator took and intended to steal;
- someone else's property;
- from the person's physical presence;
- against the will of the owner;
- with the use of force, threat, or violence.
Unlike robbery, burglary does not always involve the presence of the victim. To commit burglary, a person must break into a "structure" with the intention to commit a criminal offense. According to the law, a person commits burglary even if the structure was unlocked. Additionally, a personal might enter building without the intent to commit a crime. For example, a person might break into a building to use the phone and call an ambulance. This is not necessarily burglary.
Like many crimes, the act of robbery can be "aggravated" by specific circumstances. Armed robbery, for instance, occurs when the perpetrator uses a weapon to steal the victim's property. If the victim suffers an injury or dies, the crime may be charged as an "aggravated" offense.
Understanding Burglary & "Structures"
You must enter an occupied structure or building to commit burglary. The term "structure" refers to more than a home or apartment building. Although burglary laws were originally create to protect homes, modern vernacular defines a "structure" as anything capable of house people, animals, or personal property. This includes barns, sheds, garages, and outlying structures. A fenced area, on the other hand, might not qualify as structure because it doesn't actually house animals, property, or people.
If you or a loved one have been brought up on theft, robbery, or burglary charges in Colorado Springs, you need the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney by your side. With over 15 years of experience, The Samuelson Law Firm can help. Get started with a free initial case consultation with our team!