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Is it robbery, burglary or theft?

People often use burglary, robbery and theft all in the same context, but in the legal world, robbery and burglary are two separate crimes. Theft is a crime which occurs when a person takes property from another person without authorization or consent with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of the property. Robbery also involves taking another person's property, but the theft occurs by use of physical force or fear. Crimes of robbery are generally more serious than theft. 

In the Iowa statutes, burglary is when a person enters an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime without the right to be in the structure. Although burglary and theft often go hand-in-hand, burglary does not require a theft. The crime committed could be kidnapping or a sexual assault. It is the method of entry that must be unlawful for a charge of burglary. If a person unlawfully enters a structure without the intent to commit a crime, the charge could be trespassing. 

These crimes can also be considered aggravated if injuries to a person occur during the committing of the crime or if property damage which exceeds $200 occurs. If a burglary involves sexual assault, if convicted, the person may have to register as a sex offender. There are many different aspects to property crimes which can add penalties to the conviction. 

Even though theft, robbery and burglary are slightly different crimes, a conviction is serious business. A person can face felony charges, jail time and fines, depending on the severity of the crime. If you are facing any kind of felony charges for a property crime, it is important to know your rights to put forth a strong defense to minimize the outcome of your situation. You may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney to get an accurate assessment of your case to decide how to proceed through the legal system. 

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