Robbery vs Burglary

What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

Robbery is the crime of accomplishing theft by using or threatening to use force on another person. Burglary is the crime of entering another person’s property for the purpose of committing a crime. Because both charges involve a high potential for violence, robbery and burglary charges are among the most serious offenses in the Commonwealth.

Understanding your charges will help you make decisions for your own future. Attorney Paul C. Galanides believes his clients are better defended when they're well-informed. For 27 years, Mr. Galanides served his community as a public defender, a prosecutor, and as an Assistant Attorney General. Today, he uses these experiences to serve the community by helping his clients get their charges dismissed, reduced or acquitted.

Call our Richmond robbery lawyer today at (804) 977-0110 or contact Mr. Galanides online to schedule your free initial consultation.

Robbery in Virginia

In Virginia, a person is guilty of robbery if they commit theft by using violence, force, or threats against the victim. Some examples of this kind of force can include:

  • Strangulation / Partial strangulation
  • Suffocation
  • Striking / Beating
  • Assault
  • Using a deadly weapon / Threatening to use a deadly weapon
  • Causing the victim to fear that they are in danger of serious bodily harm

It is important to remember that the prosecution must prove each aspect of the charge - that the accused intentionally took, or intended to take, any item of value, from another person through the use of force or intimidation. Robbery charges in Virginia can be categorized as first and second-degree charges depending on the circumstances of the case.

Penalties for Robbery

According to Virginia statute, robbery, accompanied by an assault, or threats, or brandishing a weapon is a felony and is punishable by 5-years to life in prison. If the stolen property is a car, the charges can be increased to "Carjacking" which increases the prison time to 15-years to life.

In either case, a conviction would likely mean the end of your liberty and the life you love. Don't let it get that far—let our Richmond robbery attorney represent you. Mr. Galanides' knowledge of the judges and prosecutors gives your case a competitive advantage and when you're facing robbery charges, that's invaluable.

Burglary in Virginia

Burglary is often incorrectly used interchangeably with robbery, however, where robbery is a theft crime, burglary is traditionally a property crime. Burglary is categorized as common law burglary and statutory burglary.

Statutory Burglary

Statutory burglary is broken down into three categories:

  • § 18.2-90: Entering a dwelling, etc., with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson.
  • § 18.2-91: Entering a dwelling, etc., with intent to commit larceny, assault and battery or other felony.
  • § 18.2-92: Entering a dwelling, etc., with intent to commit other misdemeanors.

This last type of statutory burglary is considered a class 6 felony unless the person is armed with a deadly weapon, at which point the charge is increased to a class 2 felony.

Penalties for Burglary

Statutory burglary is most often charged as a Class 3 Felony (without a weapon) and as a Class 2 Felony (with a weapon).

  • Class 3 Felonies are punishable with:
    • 5-20 years of prison
    • $100,000 in fines
  • Class 2 Felonies come with:
    • 20 years to life in prison
    • $100,000 in fine

When it comes to sheer results, there are few Richmond burglary attorneys who can match Attorney Paul C. Galanides. His firm has the resources, the skill, and the experience to craft an effective defense on your behalf.

Contact a Richmond burglary lawyer from the Law Office of Paul C. Galanides, P.C. at (804) 977-0110 to schedule your free initial phone consultation.


“I'm inspired to fight for the rights our constitution guarantees us, and to attempt to truly make a difference.”

- Paul C. Galanides
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