Difference Between Larceny, Theft, Burglary & Robbery


Difference Between Larceny, Theft, Burglary & Robbery

What is the Difference Between Larceny and Theft, Burglary & Robbery? How much do you know about the law in the United States? Are you familiar with criminal statutes? People in the public often use terms such as theft, burglary, and robbery without thinking about it. Some may believe that these terms are the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, these terms mean different things. It is pertinent to learn as much as you can about these charges and convictions. Doing so guarantees that you’ll fully understand the severity of the crime and the potential consequences.

Robbery and burglary tend to be harsher crimes with stiffer penalties. As for larceny and theft, they’re usually minor crimes. However, it depends on the value. If it increases, it could enter into grand larceny or grand theft. Below, you’ll learn more about these terms.

What Is Larceny?

What Is Larceny?

First and foremost, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about these charges. What is larceny and what does it mean to be charged with larceny? Although it is similar to theft, larceny is a bit different. If someone is charged with larceny, they’re accused of taking property and depriving the owner of its use. Just remember that this term’s meaning can change from one jurisdiction to another.

Therefore, you will need to check the statutes in your area to find out what it means in your city. In general, simple and petty larceny are misdemeanors.

These charges are associated with amounts less than the threshold for grand larceny which is normally a felony crime.

What Is Theft? 

When someone has been accused of theft, someone is saying that they took another person’s property while permanently depriving the owner of its use. In general, theft is related to physical items and money. It normally doesn’t have anything to do with real estate.

Usually, the owner doesn’t realize what happened until it is too late. In some cases, the theft could be grand theft. This typically happens when the value loss exceeds the threshold. In some areas, it is $1,000, but it could be more or less in your area. Grand theft is more serious and carries harsher penalties.

Larceny Vs Theft 

How do these charges differ from one another? What sets them apart? Ultimately, both charges are similar. There is only one minor difference between the two. Theft is when someone has been accused of taking another individual’s personal identification, property, or money. As for larceny, it means that a person’s personal property has been taken. Also, theft can be used to describe a handful of charges.

For instance, it might be used for theft of intellectual property, theft of personal property, theft of services, and identity theft. Again, the statutes may change from one area to another.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is usually a violent crime. When accused of robbery, it means that you’ve taken someone’s property while using force or threatening to use force. Before you can be convicted of robbery, the prosecutor needs to prove that you took the person’s property.

However, the victim doesn’t have to be injured. Physical violence is not required. You only need to threaten someone during the commission of the robbery. If you’ve done that, you might find yourself facing a charge of robbery.


Burglary is a bit different than the aforementioned charges for several reasons. Before someone can be charged with burglary, they have to be accused of breaking into a structure. You might’ve broken into a building so you could steal items or money.

If so, you’ll likely be charged with burglary. You don’t have to break a window or pick a lock. You can be charged with robbery even if you entered through an unlocked door. You can also use the key. Another thing to note is that the structure can be anything. It could be a vehicle, tent, RV, or house. Even if you didn’t steal anything, you might still be charged with burglary.

Difference Between Larceny and Theft, Burglary & Robbery?

What is the Difference Between Larceny and Theft, Burglary & Robbery?

You need to learn more about the differences between these charges. The most notable difference is that larceny and theft do not involve force or breaking into a building. Robbery is violent since the perpetrator is being accused of stealing property using force or threatening to use force.

There are big differences in terms of punishment too. As for burglary, the perpetrator has been accused of breaking into a structure to steal something. Even if they walked away empty-handed, they could be charged with burglary.

Another thing to remember is that some charges can be upgraded when the amount reaches a certain threshold. Grand larceny and grand theft come with harsher penalties. With that being said, you need to be careful when dealing with such crimes. Check the legal statutes in your area so you can find out more about the crime in question.

Theft Punishment

Have you been accused of theft? If so, you’re likely worried about your future. What are the penalties? Ultimately, you’ll find that the penalties depend on the severity of the crime. In some cases, you’ll be charged with petty theft.

The good news is that petty theft has the least punishment. It isn’t as bad and the dollar value is lower. Petty theft involved something of low value. Although it depends on the state and city, it is generally between $500 and $1,000. The typical punishment for theft is a small fine and short jail time.

You may be required to spend a few months in jail. Grand theft is more serious than petty theft. It may be a misdemeanor or felony. The biggest difference is that grand theft is going to come with stiffer punishments. If you’re convicted, there is a risk that you’ll be sentenced to a longer jail sentence. However, it depends on the severity.

For a misdemeanor grand theft, the jail sentence will be less than one year. If it is a felony, it could be more than one year. Finally, you have grand felony theft. The value amount needs to meet a certain threshold before you can be charged with grand felony theft.

Since it is a felony charge, you’re going to face hefty fines and longer jail times.

Read Also: What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

Punishment For Burglary 

What is going to happen if you’re convicted on a charge of burglary? Will you face prison time? Ultimately, it will depend on several factors. In general, burglary statutes contain several choices for judges to choose from when choosing the most suitable sentence. In some cases, the statute will be set out depending on the severity of the crime.

For instance, the judge may sentence the perpetrator to one, two, or three years. In addition to this, you may face alternative sentences, such as restitution and fines. The judge will consider these recommendations when determining which sentence to hand down.

When doing so, they’ll consider aggravating factors. Was the victim particularly vulnerable? Was the perpetrator the mastermind? The judge will also consider mitigating factors, such as the defendant’s criminal record. If someone doesn’t have a criminal record, they may receive a lesser sentence.

Ultimately, it is difficult to say what will happen, but you may be sentenced to prison. It will depend on the severity of the crime and mitigating factors.

Punishment For Larceny 

Are you worried about being convicted on a charge of larceny? Ultimately, this is one of the least harsh crimes. In general, larceny is considered a misdemeanor. Therefore, it is less severe than many of the alternatives. When you’re convicted, you may face a maximum of one year in jail. You’ll also likely be required to pay a fine.

There is a risk that the charge will be upgraded to a felony. This happens when you’ve stolen money over a specific limit. Remember that you should never try to defend yourself in court. If you’re facing an upcoming court trial, hire an attorney to defend yourself.