Burglary, theft and robbery are crimes that involve taking or attempting to take someone’s property without their consent. Although these names are often used interchangeably, they are distinct crimes under Georgia law, with different legal definitions and consequences.
Learn the differences between these crimes and the repercussions of committing them in Georgia.
Distinguishing between robbery, theft and burglary
Robbery occurs when a person takes property from someone using force or the threat of force. In Georgia, it is a felony and the punishment depends on whether the robber used a weapon or not.
Theft is when someone takes property without the owner’s consent. In Georgia, theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the stolen property. Petty theft involves property valued at less than $1,500, while grand theft is when the property is worth $1,500 or more.
Burglary is the illegal entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime. In Georgia, first-degree burglary, which involves entering a dwelling, is a felony. Second-degree burglary, which includes entering any other type of building, is a misdemeanor.
Consequences of perpetrating these crimes
A conviction for any of these crimes can result in fines, probation and restitution. Additionally, a conviction can impact future employment opportunities and affect the ability to obtain loans or housing.
The severity of the punishment for these crimes depends on various circumstances, including the use of a weapon, the amount the stolen property is worth and the degree of force used. For example, an unarmed robbery is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while an armed robbery can result in a life sentence. These types of crimes can also lead to other criminal charges, such as assault or battery if physical harm occurs during the commission of the crime.
These three crimes are separate under Georgia law, and a conviction can have significant consequences. Know the differences so you can protect your rights.