Property crimes such as robbery, theft, burglary and larceny seem to get used interchangeably a lot by those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. There are clear differences between these types of property crimes, though.
If you've heard the terminology "breaking and entering," then you know about one of the conditions that must be met in order to charge someone with burglary. To get a conviction against someone for this criminal offense, prosecutors must be able to show that a defendant didn't only unlawfully enter a property but that they did so with the intention of stealing something or committing some other type of felony.
While breaking into a car isn't considered a burglary, anyone who goes into a place of business, a greenhouse or someone's home may be charged with the crime. The individual who owns the property broken into doesn't have to be present in order for someone to be arrested and charged with a crime.
Any individual who goes in and deprives another person of a valuable object by threatening or intimidating them or by using force can be arrested and charged with robbery. Unlike burglary, the owner of the valuable item must be present when the crime occurs in order for someone to be charged with robbery. Robberies can have a single or multiple victims.
Theft and larceny
Any time that someone takes an object without expressed permission of the owner, they may be charged with theft.
Some jurisdictions may call for a defendant to be charged with larceny instead if a car was burglarized to obtain that item. When determining whether to charge a defendant with a crime, police will want to know whether car doors were locked and if other security measures were in place before the alleged crime occurred.
When you find out that a loved one is facing criminal charges, it can be stressful trying to figure out what's the best move to take to resolve their legal matter. You'll appreciate having a Mahopac criminal defense attorney who emphasizes practical guidance, discretion and results handling your most serious legal matters.