Burglary Vs. Robbery in NJ

Typically, burglary does not involve violence, but robbery does. According to New Jersey law, if you use threat or force to steal from someone else, it’s considered robbery. Burglary is theft without violence. If you face burglary or robbery charges, we have the best team of criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ.

What is Burglary?

New Jersey law does not require theft as a premise for burglary. If you trespass with the intent to commit a crime, that’s burglary. Even if you don’t encounter anyone, you can go to prison for up to 10 years if you have a weapon. So, if you break into someone’s home or business, you don’t have to steal anything to face a burglary charge.


You can be charged with theft for stealing something. Penalties for theft increase with the value of whatever you take. For example, second degree theft carries a penalty of 10 years and a large fine. Someone who breaks into another person’s property and steals from them while carrying a weapon gets two charges, theft and burglary.

For example, shoplifting (without a weapon) is considered theft since it involves taking something unlawfully without trespassing.


Robbery is a more severe crime than burglary or theft and has higher penalties. With robbery, you have used force or the threat of force to take someone else’s property.

In a robbery charge, the alleged perpetrator has done the following:

  • Stolen someone’s property
  • Used violence or threats to take someone’s property without consent
  • Proven they don’t intend to return the property

The higher the value of the items stolen, the higher the penalties. Second degree robbery carries a potential prison term of five to 10 years, and first-degree robbery yields a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

When you face theft, burglary, or robbery charges, you need a legal representative who understands criminal law in Monmouth County, NJ. Work with a solid team of lawyers well-versed in defending against theft, robbery, and burglary charges. The Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP will fight for your rights aggressively and provide comprehensive criminal defense services. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation to talk about your case and review the next steps.