Robbery, Theft/Larceny, and Burglary

While on the surface, these terms are used interchangeably within society, they are actually very defined and different. Robbery, theft (also known as larceny), and burglary can also carry very different charges and should be defended against by someone with a detailed knowledge of these differences.

Theft / Larceny

The least of these charges is theft or larceny. This occurs with the unauthorized taking of property from another person with the intent to deprive them of that property permanently and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 depending on the severity.


While very similar to theft or larceny, robbery is basically intentionally taking someone else’s property through physical force or fear. Robbery is punishable by 5 years to life in prison and is a serious offense in Virginia.


Most often used in exchange for the term theft, a burglary does not even require that theft occurs. A burglary is simply the unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime inside. While normally involving theft, a theft does not have to occur for a burglary to be present and could be carried out by destruction of property, assault, murder, rape, or any other illegal act. Burglary can be considered to be up to a class 2 felony and is punishable up to a life imprisonment and fines up to $100,000.

Knowing your options and rights in these cases is essential and not knowing them can have lifelong consequences. Don’t wait till the last moment to talk to a defense attorney. The McClenney Law Group is here to help you know and understand your rights and help you in your defense. Call us today for a consultation.


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