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The Differences Between a Robbery Charge and a Burglary Charge

Robbery and burglary are both felonies in Oklahoma. While the terms sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same. Each crime has different elements and punishments. In some cases, a defendant can be charged with both robbery and burglary, but the charges are independent from one another.

The primary difference between robbery and burglary is that burglary requires that the perpetrator make forceable illegal entry into a dwelling, structure or vehicle owned by or lawfully controlled by another person. Unlawful entry by force is all that is required for a burglary conviction. The perpetrator will often commit other crimes (i.e., theft of property) after gaining entry, but it is not necessary for conviction. The mere intent to commit another crime after illegal entry is sufficient for a burglary conviction.

As with other crimes, there are different degrees of burglary in Oklahoma, and they include:

  • Third degree burglary — Burglary in the third degree involves unlawful entry into a vehicle, boat or trailer with intent to steal or commit another felony.
  • Second degree burglary — Burglary in the second degree is when someone forcefully enters a dwelling or other structure with the intent to steal property or commit another felony.
  • First degree burglary — First degree burglary involves forcible entry when another person is inside.

The punishment for burglary increases with each degree, the first degree being the most severe. The minimum prison sentence for burglary in Oklahoma is five years.

Robbery is the theft of personal property by either force or threats, and the charge does not hinge on unlawful entry. In many instances, a perpetrator uses a combination of force and threats to commit a robbery (i.e., a criminal takes the victim’s property from their person and threatens them with bodily harm if they resist). Robbery does not require the use of a weapon.

There are only two degrees of ordinary robbery. Actual or threatened bodily harm or a felony committed against another person is first degree robbery. In addition, if the victim fears suffering bodily harm, it is also robbery in the first degree. Robbery by all other means is charged as second degree robbery. The minimum prison sentence for robbery in Oklahoma is ten years. The state also recognizes other types of robbery, such as armed robbery, that carry harsher sentences.

Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Lindsey Law Firm, P.C. represents criminal defense clients throughout the Tulsa area. If you have been accused of a serious crime, feel free to contact us online or call 918-587-0097 for an initial consultation.

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    1612 S Denver Ave.
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
    Phone: 918-587-0097
    Fax: 918-587-3763
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