Under California law, theft, robbery and burglary are indeed distinct crimes. In fact, they are regulated by their own provision to the California Penal Code. Likewise, they have their own set of possible penalties.
Here are the notable differences of each crime, how each 1 differs from the other 2, and how they are classified.
- Theft – In contrast to robbery, theft is the act of taking someone else’s property without any personal interaction.
- Robbery – This crime differs from theft in the sense that this act is the taking of someone else’s property involving personal interaction with force, coercion, and intimidation.
- Burglary – As opposed to both crimes, burglary is the act of entering a building or residential property with the intent to commit any felonious crime or theft. This crime, however, doesn’t require a property to be stolen or even personal interaction to take place.
Classification of Theft
Smaller acts of theft are called petty theft, which involves an amount of $950 or less. Acts that involve more than $950 are already considered grand theft. Such criminal activity can be charged as an infraction, a felony, or misdemeanor, depending on the crime’s circumstances or the defendant’s criminal record.
If you commit theft, you can be charged against someone else’s property. This can involve land, aside from other criminal charges that would apply. Likewise, it might involve physical goods, money, or any physical objects you can transport or move.
Theft also applies when you take somebody else’s object with the use of trickery or deceit in order to convince the owner to let you have control over certain items.
Classification of Robbery
The taking of property by applying fear or force, along with the involvement of person-to-person interaction, is considered robbery. Robbery is classified by degrees, namely 1st and 2nd degree classifications.
The first degree classification qualifies the act as robbery when it has been committed against people at ATM machines, drivers and passengers of public transport or taxi, or inhabited dwellings.
Under the Three Strikes Law of California, all robberies are classified as felonies, while all are strikes. However, this doesn’t mean that the victim would suffer any type of injury even if this is a violent crime.
Classification of Burglary
Burglary is the act of entering a building with the intent to commit any theft or felony. Just like thefts, burglaries are wobblers due to the fact that they can be charged depending on the incident’s circumstances, be it misdemeanors or felonies.
The first degree burglary can be charged if a perpetrator would enter an apartment, inhabited house or other structure. The first degree burglaries are charged as felonies.
The second degree burglary can be charged in all other instances, such as those done in an office building or store.
The case of burglary is now made broader than just breaking into somebody else’s home. This includes non-residential buildings, caves or natural formations, or temporary structures like tents. This can also be applied even if you don’t use force or violence as you enter a structure in order to commit burglary.