What Is the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Nevada?

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Burglary and Robbery as Defined by Nevada Law

Despite sometimes being used interchangeably, burglary and robbery have distinct meanings under Nevada law. Each is a separate crime with penalties defined by statute. Both are felony offenses that can result in a year or more in prison upon conviction. If you have been arrested or are being investigated on suspicion of burglary or robbery, you need legal counsel.

At the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we defend individuals facing serious criminal charges. For over 15 years, we have helped clients fight for their freedom and their reputation. If you were arrested for robbery or burglary in Las Vegas or throughout Nevada, contact our office at (702) 553-1320 for a free consultation. 

What Is Burglary?

Effective July 1, 2020, the definition of burglary was expanded under the Nevada Revised Statutes. Pursuant to NRS 205.060, burglary includes unlawful entry or unlawfully remaining in any dwelling, business structure, or motor vehicle with the intent to commit a crime such as theft, assault, or battery.

The law distinguishes a residential burglary from the burglary of a business. A residential burglary occurs when a person illegally enters or remains in a dwelling in which a person lives or a place that is “customarily used by a person for overnight accommodations.” 

What Are the Penalties for Burglary?

Burglary is a felony offense regardless of the type of structure that is unlawfully entered. However, under the revised statutes, penalties are more severe if a person is convicted of a residential burglary.

A person convicted of burglary can face the following punishments:

  • Burglary of a motor vehicle – First offense is a category E felony, second or subsequent offense is a category D felony punishable by 1-4 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
  • Burglary of a structure – Category D felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
  • Burglary of a business – Category C felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
  • Residential burglary – Category B felony punishable by 1-10 years in prison.

The use of a firearm or deadly weapon during a burglary can enhance penalties, increasing the potential prison sentence to a term between 2 – 15 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000. 

Is Residential Burglary the Same as Home Invasion in Nevada?

Nevada law (NRS 205.067) distinguishes between residential burglary and invasion of the home. Invasion of the home is a category B felony and requires the forcible entry of a dwelling without the permission of the owner or lawful occupant. 

Invasion of the home requires that a person use physical force to unlawfully enter an inhabited dwelling. However, to be convicted of home invasion, it is not necessary that the person be present at the time of the unlawful entry.

What Is Robbery?

Robbery is defined in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 200.380) as the unlawful taking of another person’s personal property in their presence. To be convicted of robbery, it must be shown that the alleged offender used force, violence, or the threat of force or violence to commit the crime.

A person can be convicted of robbery if they use fear of injury, force, or violence to:

  • Obtain or retain the personal property of another;
  • Overcome resistance to the taking; or
  • Use it as a means to escape.

The threat of injury can be immediate or in the future and can be made against the person, a member of their family, or someone present during the robbery.

What Are the Penalties for Robbery?

Robbery is charged as a category B felony, punishable by a state prison sentence of not less than 2 years and not to exceed 15 years. The degree of force used is immaterial under Nevada law.

If a deadly weapon or firearm is used during the commission of a robbery, the punishments can be enhanced. Robbery with the use of a deadly weapon is generally referred to as armed robbery and can result in an additional prison sentence.

What Are the Differences Between Burglary and Robbery?

Burglary is considered a crime against property and does not require the use of force or violence. Robbery, on the other hand, is classified under crimes against the person

The nature of the crime of robbery makes it a more serious offense; however, both are felonies with significant prison time. A person can be charged with both crimes and face severe penalties as defined by statute.

Can I Fight Burglary or Robbery Charges?

One of the most common mistakes people make is believing that they cannot fight criminal charges. Being investigated or even charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted. The best way to fight felony charges is by retaining an experienced theft crime attorney.

Attorney Garrett T. Ogata has extensive experience representing clients facing a year or more in prison. He works hard to obtain a favorable disposition in every case, including securing reductions and dismissals whenever possible. He has been nominated by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as one of the best attorneys in the area and has received the Clients’ Choice Award and a 10.0 rating from Avvo.

Arrested in Las Vegas? Get a Free Consultation Today.

If you are arrested in Las Vegas, you need an attorney with proven results. Contact our office at (702) 553-1320 for a free consultation. When you are facing imprisonment, you need a lawyer that has the experience and the knowledge to defend your freedom. Call now to discuss your legal options.

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