What are the Differences Between Burglary and Robbery in New Jersey?

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Despite both arguably falling under the category of theft crimes, burglary and robbery are two very different crimes. If you need help distinguishing between the two, please read on, then contact an experienced Mercer County theft lawyer to learn what the differences are between burglary and robbery in New Jersey.

How is burglary different from robbery in New Jersey?

The most important thing to remember is that burglary involves entering a home or another building illegally whether or not the criminal steals something, whereas robbery involves taking property from a person through threats or fear of harm.

How are the penalties different between burglary and robbery in New Jersey?

The state of New Jersey typically grades burglaries as third degree offenses. These expose the defendant to the following penalties:

  • Prison sentence of 3 to 5 years
  • Fine of up to $15,000

The exception is that burglary can be a second degree offense if it involves injuries or a deadly weapon. In that case, the defendant will be ineligible for early release under the No Early Release Act.

In the state of New Jersey, robbery comes in two major forms: first degree robbery and second degree robbery. First degree robbery includes armed robbery. The penalties are as follows:

First degree robbery:

  • Prison sentence of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • Fine of up to $200,000
  • Inability to apply for early release

Second degree robbery:

  • Prison sentence of up to 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • Fine of up to $150,000
  • Inability to apply for early release

Why do you need a Mercer County criminal defense lawyer?

A person charged with burglary should reach out to a skilled Mercer County criminal defense lawyer to see if he or she qualifies for a diversionary program. These programs, such as Pre-Trial Intervention, can help a person avoid both a conviction for the crime and jail time. On the other hand, a robbery charge requires a strong defense, as a conviction can have a significant impact on every aspect of your life. In either case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed or attempted to commit theft and/or used or threatened to use force in carrying out the theft. A seasoned legal professional can make that a tall order. Do not go it alone. Give us a call today.


Here at the Law Office of Douglas Herring, we believe that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to due process. No one facing a criminal matter should proceed without a competent attorney on their side. We are here to listen to your case, determine the best strategy going forward, and fight for your rights. Contact us today so we can get started. 

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