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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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The Differences Between Robbery and Burglary  

Although some people may understand that the words “robbery” and “burglary” mean different things, they are commonly used interchangeably in society. Regardless of their similarity, these terms can have significant differences. Robbery involves another person removing a valuable item from a person directly through the use of intimidation or threat. On the other hand, by using the term “burglary” a person is specifically referring to a scenario in which a person enters a home or building illegally and then proceeds to commit a crime.

Robbery and Burglary as Crimes

If a robbery has been committed, then someone has directly taken an item of value from another person by force. Although some variations between state robbery laws do indeed exist, there are common themes that are sustained throughout the country. These elements normally include the taking of money or property from someone without permission with the intent to keep that property permanently through the use of threat or intimidation.

Additionally, burglary can be defined in slightly different ways and sometimes with different variations depending on the state and local laws. Most commonly burglary is defined by illegally entering a building or a home with the intent to steal items from the premises or otherwise commit a crime while inside. Many states used to define a burglary as breaking into and entering another person’s home using force. Since then, the definition of burglary has evolved and therefore the laws surrounding it have evolved as well. It is now true that

a person can be committing a burglary by unlawfully entering (without permission) any building structure with the intent to commit a felony.While the individual crimes of robbery and burglary may seem interchangeable, they do indeed have distinct differences most notably being that a burglary involves the breaking and entering of a home or building while a robbery does not. In regards to a burglary, a person may still be charged with the crime regardless if the offender had stolen anything from the property or not.

This is a variation that can appear from state to state. The variation being that in one state a person must have had intent to commit a felony while inside the building in order to be convicted of burglary while other states, the person may only have to have broken into the building without permission to be convicted. On the other hand, someone committing a robbery will have taken or attempted to take an item of value from another person almost assuredly. Although, in many places, to be convicted of robbery, a person must have used force or intimidation in order to take the property from the victim.

Get Help From an Experienced New Jersey Attorney

Working through a robbery or burglary case is no simple task and requires detailed knowledge of specific state laws and variations, which could work to benefit you if you have been charged with either of these crimes. It may be in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable New Jersey attorney who is familiar with these differences and will fight for the best possible outcome. Contact John W. Tumelty today so that we may begin your case and help get you the best results possible.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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