Interviewer: So, what’s the difference between robbery and burglary and what is the difference in the charges or the penalties?
Court Koehler: They are also kind of the same level of offense and there are a lot of these crimes and they are based on the old English criminal law system. Robbery and burglary is one of them, assault and battery is another one where the two crimes are almost the same thing and it’s really difficult to distinguish them. When it comes to how they are charged and what their penalties are, they are basically identical but just for interesting information, burglary is where you enter someone’s house with an intent to commit a felony. Usually what that means is someone is breaking in to someone’s house in order to steal things and so that’s where the term burglar comes from. Burglary has a connotation of someone breaking into a house and then are moving valuable items and things like that.
Burglary is Defined as Entering Someone’s House with an Intent to Commit a Felony Whereas Robbery is Taking Something by Use or Threat of Force
It doesn’t actually technically have to be theft once you get in there, it just has to be that you break into the house with the intent to commit some sort of felony. Technically under the old English common law, you could be a burglar if you break into a house with the intent to assault someone or rape someone or murder someone and do some other terrible thing that’s a felony and that would also be burglary. Robbery is theft that is committed with some sort of show of force or where you’re taking something from someone physically that is holding it right there. You’re grabbing it and running or something like that, as opposed to stealing something from someone when they are not around or when they are out of their house or something.
People Involved in Embezzlement May Have the Intention of Returning the Amount they’ve Taken
Interviewer: If someone works for a certain place and starts embezzling, do you find that there are some cases where people might do it because they say, “I need this money right now but I promise I am going to be able to pay this back”?
Court Koehler: Yes. Those are the kind of things that can happen and it’s sad. It’s a bad choice obviously for somebody to do that but that is definitely something that people could get stuck in accidentally or maybe not accidentally but by stealing money from themselves or their own company or something like that to pay something or to take a loan essentially, intending to pay it back. Then they are unable to and things snowball out of control and by the time they know it, they’re facing really serious embezzlement charges.
The Process of Expungement for Theft Crimes in the State of Utah
Interviewer: Is getting a theft case expunged or a charge expunged possible?
Court Koehler: Yes, it is. The expungement statute in Utah, there is a time period that you have to wait, and it depends on the severity of the crime. For a class B misdemeanor, I believe it’s a 2-year period but it might be a 4-year period, you’d have to look at the statute. And for a class A misdemeanor, I believe it’s either a 4 or 6-year period, so I don’t know without looking at the statute what exactly what those periods are but the point is you wait that period of time and then after that period of time passes, you’re eligible to get a certificate of expungement, and then you can file that with the court and get the charges expunged.
Theft Crimes Involving the Use of Internet are Fairly Common in Utah
Interviewer: Have you ever dealt with cases or have you heard of cases that involve the internet when it comes to theft?
Court Koehler: Yes, there is that sort of danger just because with everything with the internet, there is so much anonymity. It’s easy to get accidentally connected to someone that is deceiving you or trying to get a credit card number. Yes, there is a lot of that that floats around.