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What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary in New York?

In the eyes of the law, robbery and burglary have very different definitions and penalties. It is common for individuals to use these terms interchangeably. However, once you learn the difference between the two, you will understand the importance of each term’s use. Continue reading to discover the definitions of robbery and burglary and the penalties for both in New York. If you have been charged with a burglary or a robbery, it is important that you reach out to an experienced New York criminal defense attorney who will defend your rights in court. Give our firm a call to learn more.

How is robbery defined in New York?

Larceny is defined as the theft of another person’s property. Forcible larceny is considered robbery. Using force or instilling fear in the victim to steal is considered a robbery. For example, threatening violence to forcibly steal a victim’s property would be considered committing a robbery in New York.

What are the penalties for a robbery?

Depending on the degree of robbery the perpetrator is convicted, the penalties vary:

  • First Degree: Class B felony, 10-25 years in prison
  • Second Degree: Class C felony, 7-15 years in prison
  • Third Degree: Class D felony, 2-7 years in prison

How is burglary defined in New York?

Burglary is defined as entering a building with the intent to commit a crime or remaining on a property with the intent to commit a crime. It is also possible to commit burglary without breaking and entering. Simply remaining unlawfully inside a build with the intent to commit a crime is considered a burglary. This is still the case after being initially invited into the building. A burglary does not have to include theft to be considered a burglary, though they are often seen together. Instead, a burglary can combine the intent to commit other crimes such as assaults or sex crimes. Burglary can also be committed even if the intended crime is not yet committed.

What are the penalties for committing a burglary?

Burglaries are considered felonies in most cases in New York. Depending on the degree of burglary the perpetrator is convicted of, the penalties vary:

  • First-degree burglary: Class B felony, 1-25 years in prison, potential $5,000 fine
  • Second-degree burglary: Class C felony, 1-15 years in prison, potential $5,000 fine
  • Third-degree burglary: Class D felony, 1-7 years in prison, potential $5,000 fine


Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.

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