Defining Theft, Burglary, and Robbery in GA

There are many different types of theft offenses in Georgia, and they each have different definitions.

Due to the fact that people often consider theft, burglary, and robbery as all theft crimes, many people think that they legally mean the same thing and use the terms interchangeably. However, there are some distinct differences between these offenses. A similarity that these charges share is that they all have serious consequences for those convicted. A Georgia criminal defense lawyer can defend against these charges to give accused individuals the best chance of retaining their freedom.

Theft in Georgia

Theft is one of the most common crimes committed and prosecuted in Georgia. There are many different types of theft in the state including shoplifting, theft by deception, and theft of a motor vehicle. In all instances, theft is considered the unlawful taking of another person’s property without their permission and with the intent to permanently deprive another person of that property. Theft always involves the unlawful taking of physical property. For example, a person who steals another person’s ideas cannot be convicted of theft, although other criminal charges may apply.

Robbery in Georgia

Robbery is a type of theft crime in Georgia, but this offense is different than other types of theft, such as shoplifting. Robbery involves taking property from another person using force or threat of force to take it. The property taken during a robbery does not necessarily mean only taking property off of someone’s person. If a person has control of property, such as a cashier who has access to a safe, and force or threat is used by someone to steal that property, it is considered robbery.

Robbery is considered a violent crime. However, a person does not have to actually be injured for robbery charges to be laid. If a person is in fear for their safety and property was taken as a result, it is considered a crime of robbery.


Many people considerburglary to be a theft crime, but that is not always the case. The crime of burglary in Georgia is defined as unlawfully entering a structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft once inside. Burglary once meant unlawfully entering someone’s home, but today a structure has many broad definitions. Commercial and public buildings, sheds, and even natural formations such as caves are all considered structures.

While many people think of burglary as breaking and entering, that is also not exactly true. For example, entering a building without permission through an unlocked door is considered burglary, even though no breaking occurred during the act.

Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help with Any Charge You are Facing

If you have been charged with a crime of theft, robbery, or burglary, ourNorcross criminal defense lawyers at Zimmerman & Associates can help. We know the defenses available in these cases, and we will put them to work for you. Call us today at (770) 350-0100 or contact us online to speak to one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your case.