Home burglary vs. invasion: two words often used interchangeably, but they have different legal definitions. If you’ve ever been the victim of either of these crimes, it can be a very traumatic experience.
So, what’s the difference? When is a burglary considered an invasion? And what threats do these crimes pose to a homeowner?
This article will discuss the differences between burglary and invasion, including the penalties for each crime.
Home Burglary Vs. Invasion
When someone unlawfully enters or breaks into your home, it’s both burglary and an invasion. The main difference between the two is that burglary is a crime against property, while the invasion is a crime against people.
Burglary always involves theft, while invasion can involve theft, assault, intent to harm or terrorize, or other crime against residents. However, both crimes have the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.
What Is A Home Burglary?
Burglary is the unauthorized entry into a structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft. According to the penal law, properties include:
- Motor vehicles
- Railroad cars
Burglaries are a common occurrence. According to the FBI, there are more than 2.5 million burglaries in the United States each year.
Most burglars are opportunists, looking for an easy target. They will often case a neighborhood before selecting a home to rob.
They can occur at any time but are most common during the daytime when people are away from home.
Burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony and may be punishable by prison time, depending on the state.
It can be classified as a first, second, or third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.
If the criminal did not damage the property during the break-in, the crime is classified as a Class 3 felony. Burglary with property damage is a crime of the second degree.
A Class 1 felony involves committing a burglary at a school, childcare facility, or house of worship.
The most common items stolen during a burglary are cash, jewelry, and electronics. It’s important to understand the different methods burglars use to access your home. That way, you can increase your chances of preventing burglary.
Some of the most common methods include;
- Knocking on the door is the most common way for burglars to get into a home. They will knock on the door, and if someone answers, they will say they are lost or need help. If no one answers, they will try to break in.
- Posing as a delivery person – Burglars will often dress up as delivery people to gain access to your home. They may have a package for you, or they may be asking for directions. If you are not home, they will try to break in.
- Burglars may try to use a fake ID to get into your home using a fake ID. They may say they are lost, or they may have an appointment with you. If you do not recognize them, do not let them in.
- Posing as a repair person – Burglars may also pose as repair people to gain access to your home. They may say they need to fix something, or they may need to use the bathroom. If you are not home, they will try to break in.
- Using a tool to unlock the door – Burglars may use a tool to unlock your door. This could be a credit card or a slim jim. If your door is not locked, they will be able to get inside very easily. They may also break into the home through a window.
What Is A Home Invasion?
An invasion is the unlawful entry of a home to harm or terrorize the residents. The perpetrator is not looking to steal anything but harm or scare the people living there.
Home invasion involves crimes such as assault, rape, terrorizing, and harming the residents in their homes. If the offender;
- Carries a weapon in their possession
- Violently assaults or threatens an inhabitant
- Sexually assaults or abuses an inhabitant
- Fires a gun or threatens to fire one
In this case, the home invasion charge can rise to a first-degree felony or class X felony. This felony carries a potential of 6-30 years in state prison.
The vast majority of people would say that invasion is worse because it’s an invasion of privacy. Burglary can be scary, but it doesn’t have the same emotional impact as an invasion.
What To Do If A Burglary Or Invasion Happens To You?
A home invasion can be a terrifying experience. It can leave you feeling violated, unsafe, and traumatized in your own home.
If you are the victim of a burglary or invasion, it’s important to remember that you are not responsible.
What should you do if you find yourself in this situation? You can do some things to help protect yourself and your family in a home invasion.
- One of the most important things is to have a safety plan in place. This means having a plan for what to do in an emergency. You should have a designated safe place for your family to go.
- Try to remain calm: this is the most important thing. Panicking will only make the situation worse. If there are people in your home with you, tell them to stay calm and do what the intruder says. It would be best if you didn’t argue with them.
- If you can, get away from the intruder and don’t try to confront the intruder. Once you have ensured your safety, call the police through 911.
- Try to remember as much as you can about the intruder. What was their clothing? What did they look like and say? This information can be helpful to the police in catching the perpetrator.
If you have any security cameras or other recording devices in your home, provide that footage to the police.
- Finally, be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will be able to walk you through the claims process. Furthermore, they’ll help ensure your compensation for any damages or stolen items.
Key Differences Between A Home Burglary Vs. Invasion
A burglary and an invasion have similarities but are ultimately two different crimes. Both crimes are serious and can have lasting effects on the victim, but some key distinctions set them apart.
- A burglary typically occurs when someone breaks into a building or home to steal property. An invasion is when the intruder enters the home to harm or rape the occupants.
- Burglaries are often crimes of opportunity, while invasions are usually deliberate.
- Burglars usually only take what they can carry, while an intruder wants to take what they can by force.
- Burglaries are often crimes of stealth, while invasions are often very violent.
- Invasions are much more dangerous, with a higher victimization rate than burglaries.
- Burglars will typically break into a home through a window or door that is easy to get into. However, an invader will try to force their way in through any means possible.
- Burglars often work quickly and quietly, whereas an invader may take their time to terrorize the residents.
- Burglary can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Invasion, on the other hand, is always a felony.
- Burglary usually results in property loss, while invasion can result in injury or death.
- Burglaries are often motivated by financial gain, while invasions are typically motivated by hatred, anger, or revenge.
- Burglaries can also be committed during the daytime, while invasions are typically in the middle of the night.
- Burglaries are also more common than invasions, with around 2.5 million burglaries occurring each year in the United States.
How To Protect Your Home From Burglary Or Invasion
Burglary and home invasion are two terrifying crimes that can leave a family feeling unsafe in their own home.
While it’s impossible to protect your home from these crimes completely, there are some steps you can take.
- Install a security system
- Keep all doors and windows locked when the home is unoccupied
- Install motion-activated lighting
- Keep valuables out of sight
- Make sure your home is well lit
You should be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on what’s going on in your neighborhood. If you see anything suspicious, please report it to the police.
So, what is the verdict of home burglary vs. invasion? Although both crimes result in theft, home burglary and invasion are two very different crimes.
Home burglaries are typically carried out by criminals looking for items to steal. Meanwhile, invasions are intentional acts of violence against the occupants of a home. However, both crimes are punishable by law with a prison sentence.
Although it’s impossible to determine when these felonies can happen, it’s important to take steps to keep your home safe. You can install motion sensor lighting and alarms and lock all entry points.