The only difference between these two terms is the time of the day when the crime happens. Both of these terms represent the invasion of the house with the intent to commit other crimes like theft, malicious damage and so on.
This crime is considered as misdemeanor or felony, and it is made out of trespassing and another crime for which the act of trespassing is done. This doesn’t have to be theft, and it can be pure vandalism. Even if the accused didn’t steal anything, they are still guilty of a statutory offense. The housebreaking is a general term that outlines the house burglary done during the day hours. A criminal may break into a shed or another smaller building, and those trespassing cases are considered as theft. Same applies to cars, boats or anything else that may be illegally entered.
Burglary is a petty crime, but it is more than often a part of the worse crime. For example, the kidnapping, identity theft and a plethora of other crimes may all start with a burglary. Some states of the USA punish offenders that commit burglary worse than those that commit housebreaking. Many countries changed this and brought the law that punished the burglary of the residence harsher than the burglary of a commercial building.
Even though the law doesn’t look at burglary as an inchoate crime, many academics do. As you know, the inchoate crime is a crime in making, and even though it doesn’t cause any damage, the very act of the offense is a stage for injuries shortly. The law is still uncertain whether to consider this evil as incomplete. If they deem it like that, then they have to abolish it entirely and incorporate it in other crimes. The other option is to define the burglary as a crime by itself and present it along with the other crimes that are the direct result of the act.
We already mentioned that a burglary is a crime even though no damage was caused by it. In those cases, the court must determine the intention of the criminal if they refuse to share it by themselves. If the offender entered storage room, then it is easy to determine that the theft was their ulterior motive.
If someone breaks into a building to take back what is theirs or to only leave a letter, then they didn’t commit a burglary, but they are guilty of the trespassing.
The punishment for the burglary ranges from monetary fines to the life. It all depends on the aggravating circumstances. An aggravating circumstance can be anything that implies to the motive of the burglar and the crime they were about to commit. A burglar who was caught with the weapon or the one that openly threatened the homeowner before the burglary are both considered as aggravating circumstances, and they add to the punishment. Even if the burglary went through and only after the incident the police found a weapon or something else that can be connected to accomplices, the things they found may influence the case and double or triple the sentence.