What is the difference between theft, robbery, and burglary?

Posted by Aaron D. Lawrence | Mar 14, 2022 | 0 Comments


Theft is defined as the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations (La. R.S. 14:67). An essential element of theft is that the accused must have the intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever was taken or misappropriated. Thefts can be billed as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the thing taken. 


Robbery is defined as the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation (La. R.S. 14:65). In other words, when a person commits a robbery, that person uses force, violence, or intimidation to take or attempt to take something of value from another person. There are several types of robbery, ranging from the most serious of robbery offenses, armed robbery, to simple robbery. Unlike in theft cases, though, the value of the item taken in robbery cases does not determine whether the offense is billed as a felony or a misdemeanor. All robbery charges are felonies. The penalties for each offense just increase depending on the severity of the offense and the facts surrounding the case. 


Burglary is often confused with the above charges. However, the Louisiana Legislature defines burglary as unauthorized entering of any dwelling, vehicle, watercraft, or other structure, movable or immovable, or any cemetery, with the intent to commit a felony or any theft therein (La R.S. 14:62). More simply put, to be convicted of burglary the state would need to prove unauthorized entrance and the intent to commit a felony or theft.

In order to understand the full nature of your charges and how they differ from similar charges, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our attorneys at Lawrence Law Firm have reached favorable results for our clients who have been charged with both theft and robbery offenses. Our attorneys can answer your questions, help you navigate the criminal justice system, and work towards reaching a favorable result in your case as well. Call 318-232-4000 for a free consultation.  

The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

About the Author

Aaron D. Lawrence

Aaron is a Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney in Ruston, Louisiana. He received his Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from the University of North Tex...


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