Defining Burglary vs. Robbery in Ohio

Although burglary and robbery are often conflated terms in entertainment media and everyday speech, the term “burglary” in relation to robbery or any crimes is misleading. Often inappropriately defined as any crimes involving theft of some kind, burglary is specifically defined by the Ohio Revised Code 2911.12 as trespassing an occupied space or temporary residence with the intention of committing a crime – typically robbery or theft. In addition, burglary is classified as a property crime. Robbery, on the other hand, is classified as a violent crime against another person.

Part of the particular distinction in Ohio burglary laws is the element of intent. A person does not have to commit a crime while trespassing to be charged with burglary; the prosecution could argue intent to commit a crime. Intent can be a tricky argument for the prosecution because it’s based on subjectivity and often speculation.

Aggravated Burglary
Burglary in Ohio can be elevated to an aggravated burglary status according to Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.11, thereby punishable as a second-degree felony. In Ohio, burglary is considered aggravated burglary if a person trespasses via deception or force with intent to commit a crime and threaten to inflict physical harm on another person present besides an accomplice (i.e., an eyewitness, a home or property owner, a security guard, etc.). An Ohio aggravated burglary could also involve a deadly weapon. Felonies carry harsher penalties and can result in prison time and excessive fines.

Penalties for Burglary in Ohio

Title XXIX of the Ohio Revised Code deals with crimes procedure involving burglary.In Ohio, the law makes distinctions between three types of burglary: burglary, aggravated burglary, and breaking and entering. These crimes are not misdemeanors.

Aggravated Burglary is considered a first-degree felony when you trespass in an occupied area with people present, if you have intent to commit a crime, plus threaten to inflict or do inflict physical harm or if a deadly weapon is present via the offender.

Burglary is considered a second-degree felony when you trespass in an occupied structure when another person is present or likely to be present. It’s a third-degree felony if you trespass with the purpose of committing any criminal offense.

Breaking and entering is defined by the Ohio Rev. Code as a fifth-degree felony when you trespass in an unoccupied structure with the purpose to commit theft or any other felony, or with the purpose to commit a felony.

Being convicted for a first-degree felony for burglary in Ohio could mean anywhere from three to eleven years in prison plus maximum fines of $20,000.

A second-degree felony conviction in Ohio could result in between two to eight years in prison in addition to maximum fines of $15,000.

A third-degree felony conviction could land you a specific prison sentence between nine and 36 months, plus fines not exceeding $10,000.

A fourth-degree Ohio felony is worth six to 18 months in prison and fines not exceeding $5,000.

A fifth-degree felony conviction could mean a sentence of six to 12 months in prison plus maximum fines of $2,500.

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