Are Burglary and Robbery the Same Thing?

  • Criminal Justice
  • March 11, 2024
  • 4 min read
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If you’ve ever watched any legal or law enforcement drama on TV, you’ll notice that they throw around a lot of different terminology for what seems to be the same thing. If someone’s house is broken into, it is burglary or robbery? If someone is killed, is it murder or manslaughter? 

In this article, we’ll be cleaning up this uncertainty by comparing commonly confused legal terms and pointing out the differences which separate them.

Burglary and Robbery

These two felonies are often confused with each other because they both involve theft, also called larceny. 

To make it simple, the difference between robbery and burglary is that burglary involves someone entering a building or property that doesn’t belong to them with the intent to commit a crime. This doesn’t have to be theft, it can be any crime. Burglary is also sometimes referred to as breaking and entering.

Robbery, on the other hand, involves the use of force or fear upon another person to obtain property. Robbery always includes person-to-person interaction whereas burglary does not.

As an example, if someone forced you to hand over you wallet at knifepoint in the street, that would be robbery. If they broke into your house while you weren’t there to steal your wallet, that would be burglary.

Murder and Manslaughter 

The difference between murder and manslaughter is the intent to kill. 

In the case of a murder, the perpetrator always intends to kill the victim. This is further broken down into first-degree murder, which involves premeditation, and second-degree murder, which does not.

Manslaughter is the unplanned or unintentional killing of another person. This is also further broken down into voluntary manslaughter, which means the unplanned killing of another person through extreme emotional provocation, and involuntary manslaughter, which means the unplanned killing of another person through negligence or recklessness.

Crimes of passion are often voluntary manslaughter while many vehicular deaths caused by negligence or recklessness are classed as involuntary manslaughter. 

Fraud and Embezzlement

These two are often confused because fraud is often presented as a way to obtain money. The reality is that the definition of criminal fraud, deception of others for personal gain, is much wider than that of embezzlement.

Embezzlement is actually a type of theft in which a person has been given permission to handle an asset, but not to take it for themselves. 

Using accounting tricks to steal from an employer or taking the Social Security of a relative is embezzlement but, because the perpetrator was originally given permission to handle an asset, it is not a fraud.

Qualifying For Your Future

Gaining a qualification from our Criminal Justice School puts you in an excellent position to access a variety of employment opportunities as you look for one that suits your skills and interests. At Northwest Career College, our Criminal Justice instructors include licensed, practicing attorneys and degree instructors able to teach, not only the law but also to guide our students in the many ways a criminal justice graduate integrates into a Las Vegas legal profession.

As part of our Criminal Justice Program, you’ll visit courts, jails, meditation centers and more to experience first-hand the law in action which will make your criminal justice training applicable to the Las Vegas legal system. Northwest offers a flexible blended program with all criminal justice classes Las Vegas law classes taught on campus by an attorney and general education courses offered online. Our experienced instructors are on-campus to review and support your learning experience at all times. 

Call us at (702) 403-1592 to speak to one of our enrollment team about joining our Criminal Justice Program today!          

Lisa Myers
General Education Department Director

Beginning her career as a Paralegal, Lisa soon advanced to the role of Senior Paralegal for various Family Law, Personal Injury and Corporate law firms in the Las Vegas community. She obtained her Juris Doctor and LL.M, completing her fellowship…Read Full Bio