What’s the difference between Robbery and Burglary in Florida?

A man wearing a hoody sits on stairs in fort lauderdale with a knife. He's holding the knife in his right hand and touching the end of the blade with his left hand. If he commits a burglary or robbery with a knife, he will need a criminal defense attorney in south florida. Let’s start with the basics definitions of both Robbery and Burglary in Florida:

What is a Robbery Crime in Florida?

When someone commits the crime of Robbery, they take another person’s property by force with the intention of not returning it back to them.

 

According to Florida Statute 812.13, the crime of Robbery is committed when a person intentionally and unlawfully takes money or property from another person through the use of inducing fear, violence, assault, or force.

 

What is a Burglary Crime in Florida?

A burglary happens in Florida when someone enters a place without permission with the intent to commit a crime.

 

Generally speaking, burglary is defined as entering a dwelling, a structure, or conveyance without permission and with the intent to commit an offense; according to FLA. STAT. § 810.02 (2019)

 

So - what’s the difference between Robbery and Burglary? 

Although the crimes are similar, there is one big defining difference. 

 

Burglary happens when someone enters a place without permission with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary itself doesn’t necessarily involve theft, and in its basic form it also does not involve harm to other people. 

 

Robbery, on the other hand, is different from burglary because it involves theft - taking someone else’s property - AND the means are through inducing fear, violence, assault or some other type of force. 

 

Burglary itself doesn’t necessarily involve taking property or money from other people, and in its basic form, does not involve the use of force, hurting someone else or assault or inducing fear. 

 

Sometimes, whether a crime is a robbery or a burglary depends on where the crime happened… 

Another difference between burglary and robbery crimes in Florida is the PLACE where the crimes take place.

 

Notice that Burglary involves someone actually ‘entering a dwelling, a structure, or conveyance without permission and with the intent to commit an offense.’ So, there can be a Burglary of a Dwelling (essentially any place people do or may live); Burglary of a Conveyance (like a car, ship, trailer, etc); or Burglary of a Structure (basically any type of building).

 

Notice the crime of Robbery in Florida does NOT involve entering a space at all. Robbery is defined by what is taken, and the means by which property or money is taken, and not the place of a crime.

 

Robbery involves someone unlawfully taking property or money from someone else through fear, violence, assault or force.  Different types of robbery include Robbery by sudden snatching, Robbery with a deadly weapon, Robbery with a firearm, Home Invasion Robbery, and Grand Theft Auto / Car Jacking.

 

If a theft crime is committed outside in a public park for example, the crime won’t be a burglary - it will either be a robbery crime or some type of theft crime depending on the details. 

 

CONSEQUENCES OF ROBBERY vs BURGLARY CRIMES IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Crimes of Robbery are more severely punished than Crimes of Burglary.

 

For example, if a burglary was committed in a location that was not occupied at the time of the crime, it is a third-degree felony. 

 

A ‘basic’ robbery crime in Florida is a second-degree felony, making it a more serious crime with more serious consequences than burglary in Florida. 

 

A burglary can also be a second- or first-degree felony, however. If the place of the burglary crime was occupied, it is a second-degree felony. If the offender  is armed, or commits an assault or battery in the course of the burglary it becomes a first-degree felony - with consequences ranging up to life in prison. 

 

Robbery can also be a first-degree felony as well - for example, if a person commits a robbery crime while being in possession of, or while using, a weapon or firearm; the crime is a first-degree felony and carries consequences of up to 30 years in prison.

 

RELATED → Learn more about Robbery Crimes in Florida

RELATED → Learn more about Burglary Crimes in Florida