Informational Videos

Distinction between Burglary, Robbery, Grand/Petty Theft Crimes


You may have noticed that these crimes are listed in the order of most serious to least serious.  A robbery involves taking another person’s property away for them by force or fear when they are actually present during the taking.  This is a serious crime because it is the most potentially dangerous to human life as compared to the others.  In other words, robberies typically involve actual violence or the threat of violence in order to accomplish them.  This is why robbers are usually sent to prison for there crimes.  In addition, if they use a gun during the commission of a robbery, they are looking at an additional 10 years in prison for the gun use alone.  If you or a loved one has a robbery case pending in one of the Los Angeles courthouses, you had better seek the best legal representation possible if you want to have a chance to minimize the consequences.

The crime of burglary involves the breaking and entering the home of another with the intent to commit a felony inside.  This crime does not always involve a person actually being present inside the home when the taking of property occurs.  However, if a person is present in the home, the prosecutors add an additional allegation to the felony complaint and the person charged is looking at a violent felony strike.  This is a big distinction between robbery and burglary.  However, if a person or persons break into the home of another with the intent to steal, and the person or people that own the home are actually present this can turn the case into a home invasion robbery, which has very serious consequences.

In reference to the crimes of Grand Theft and Petty Theft the real difference between these two crimes relates to the value of the property taken.  If high dollar items are taken, then the case will be filed as a Grand Theft and the person involved will generally be looking at prison time.  If on the other hand, items of small value are taken, then that person will possibly be looking at the crime of petty theft.  However, with the recent changes to the law in California, many times, good defense attorneys can get an infraction instead of a misdemeanor or even a diversion program, which leaves the client with no criminal record in the end.

There are many forms of theft crimes to many to mention here.  However, no matter what theft crime is charged, in Los Angeles County, having a local attorney on your side, that appears frequently in the courtroom that your case is pending is your best defense to the charges.  They should have a relationship with the judge and prosecutor on your case and know their tendencies before they set about defending your interests.  An attorney with this level of experience will be able to best advise you, once they have all of the facts and circumstances related to your particular case.