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What is Robbery vs Burglary?

When you think of burglary, you might imagine someone breaking into a house with a flashlight in hand to steal something. In its simplest form, that’s what burglary is. And perhaps you immediately think of robbery as a more serious crime involving a weapon. However, robbery and burglary have more in common than you may think. So what is robbery vs burglary in North Carolina law?

What is Burglary?

In North Carolina, breaking and entering a dwelling house or sleeping apartment in any building is burglary. If someone is home, it’s burglary in the 1st degree, punishable as a Class D felony. A Class D felony charge can bring you from 3 to 13 years of imprisonment, depending on any previous convictions on your record.

If no one occupies the dwelling, it’s 2nd-degree burglary punishable as a Class G felony. It’s also a Class G felony if you commit burglary but don’t possess a dangerous weapon. If you’re convicted of a Class G felony, you can face 8 months to 2 years unsupervised or supervised probation OR even up to 2 and ½ years of imprisonment.

You can also face felony larceny charges without regard to the worth of any stolen property.

What is Robbery?

If you threaten someone while using a dangerous weapon to try to take personal property from them, you’ve committed robbery. You also commit robbery if you have a firearm or other dangerous weapon in your possession while trying to take personal property from someone.

Robbery is also a crime if you use or possess a weapon while trying to take property from 

  • Any place of business
  • Residence
  • Banking institution 
  • Any other place where there someone is there at any time, day or night

If you help someone commit an armed robbery, you can face Class D felony charges. If you only attempt to commit robbery, you may face attempted robbery charges.

However, robbing someone without a dangerous weapon is called “common-law” robbery. Without a weapon, you may face Class G felony charges.

What If I’m Arrested?

If you’re arrested for breaking and entering, do not speak about what happened to law enforcement. Also, ensure you do not sign anything or waive your rights without calling your attorney and having them present. 

A court of law can use anything you say against you, so it’s best not to speak until your attorney arrives. Your attorney can advise you when to answer a question and when to keep quiet to avoid incriminating yourself. 

A court of law can use anything you say against you. They may allow the words you said during interviews or “friendly” conversations with officers as evidence. They can even use recordings of telephone conversations made while in jail. A roommate can testify to what you’ve said in “secret.” Sometimes, even a trusted confidante can betray your trust. Talking to others in jail about the crime you’re charged with can often prevent a successful defense of your crime. 

Your words are crucial to your defense, and even an innocent comment can be taken out of context and used against you later on. The best policy is to just not talk about the crime in any way with anyone except your attorney. Your criminal defense attorney is on your side and is the only person who must act in your best interest despite what you say or do not say.

What Happens if I’m Convicted?

A criminal conviction stays on your permanent record. Future employers, landlords, and the general public can see your convictions and judge you fairly or not, based on it. A criminal record means you may lose out in the job market, struggle to find suitable housing or get loans, and face issues with your neighbors or other personal relationships. 

North Carolina never allows expungement of violent crimes from your record. Any violent crime conviction will remain on your record for life. 

Your best bet is hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal law attorney. Your attorney knows the judicial system and can work with judges or prosecutors to find ways through this struggle and back to your life. 

We Can Help

At Scharff Law, our criminal defense team works with prosecutors and advocates in front of judges to negotiate the best outcome for your case. We understand that many “crimes” are just misunderstandings with law enforcement. We do our best to listen to your side and always represent your best interests in our actions. 

Our in-depth investigative look at your case allows us to find legal “loopholes” that other attorneys may miss. We look at whether law enforcement violated your rights at any point with Miranda violations, search warrants, or other intrusive actions. Contact us today and find out how we can help you move forward getting your best outcome.