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Attorney Katherine A. Gonos
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Key differences between theft, burglary and robbery

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In the realm of criminal law, it is important to distinguish between theft, burglary and robbery to ensure a precise understanding of legal consequences.

Georgia law categorizes these offenses separately, each carrying its own set of penalties.


Theft, the unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it, is a broad category. In Georgia, theft is further classified based on the value of the stolen property. Misdemeanor theft involves items valued at less than $500, while felony theft encompasses items exceeding this threshold. Whether shoplifting or swindling, theft charges hinge on the value of the purloined goods.


Burglary involves unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime inside. It is important to note that forceful entry is not a requisite, such as entering through an unlocked door or window suffices. In Georgia, burglary charges are contingent on whether people are in the building building at the time of entry. If occupied, the offense elevates to a more serious degree, carrying steeper penalties.


Robbery, perhaps the most overtly forceful of the three offenses, combines theft with physical intimidation or force. For an act to be robbery, a person must use threats, violence or intimidation to coerce someone else into surrendering their property. The severity of robbery charges depends on factors like the use of a weapon or the extent of bodily harm inflicted.

While Georgia Superior Courts handled 146,268 criminal filings in 2021, each one of them had their own nuances. Facing any criminal charge is daunting, but finding the right defense may prove beneficial.