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Burglary vs. Robbery in South Carolina

Burglary vs. Robbery in South Carolina

Many people in South Carolina refer to burglary and robbery interchangeably because both crimes may involve theft, which means knowingly stealing property owned by another individual with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. However, these two offenses are not the same. 

Although burglary is often associated with theft, it is not necessary to commit such a crime. Burglary is defined as unlawfully entering a structure with the intent to commit an offense. 

Burglary is classified into the following three categories: 

  • First-degree burglary – Unlawfully entering a home or residence (known as a “dwelling”) with the intent to commit a crime therein; and either another person suffered an injury, you displayed or threatened to use a deadly weapon, you had two or more previous burglary convictions, or committed the offense at night. First-degree burglary is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

  • Second-degree burglary – There are two sub-categories of second-degree burglary: nonviolent and violent. A nonviolent second-degree burglary occurs when you unlawfully enter a dwelling in order to commit a crime therein without the use or threat of a deadly weapon and the offense happens during the day. In contrast, a violent second-degree burglary occurs if you unlawfully enter a non-residential building in order to commit a crime inside and either another person suffers physical injury, you used or threatened to use a weapon, you had two or more previous burglary convictions, or the offense occurs during the night. A nonviolent second-degree burglary conviction is a felony that carries a maximum prison term of 10 years, while a violent second-degree burglary conviction is also a felony but carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. 

  • Third-degree burglary – Unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit an offense inside and none of the enhancing conditions in first- and second-degree burglary are present. A third-degree burglary conviction is a felony that is punishable by a maximum prison term of five years. 

On the other hand, there are two types of robbery: strong-arm and armed robbery. The former means robbery without a weapon, while the latter includes the use of a weapon. 

Strong-arm robbery involves using bodily force or intimidation to steal another person’s property. This type of robbery is a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. 

Armed robbery – in contrast – involves using force or intimidation to steal someone else’s property, while armed or claiming to be armed with a deadly weapon. This type of robbery is also a felony that is punishable by a maximum prison term of 30 years. 

If you or a loved one has been accused of burglary or robbery in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (888) 301-6004 for a free initial consultation. Helping clients facing a wide range of criminal matters since 2004. 

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