The Ins and Outs of Theft and Robbery
What many people may not realize is there are many differences between theft and robbery. Most may assume they both fall under the general category of stealing, but the differences can lead to different consequences and verdicts. It’s worth it to know what distinguishes them.
Theft vs Robbery
One of the most notable differences between theft and robbery is how they are charged. Most often, theft is charged as a misdemeanor while robbery is charged as a felony. While both theft and robbery involve taking someone else’s property, the way in which it is taken is the main difference. Theft is simply taking property from another person. Robbery is when you take another person’s property by force. The act of taking it by force makes it more serious which results in a felony charge.
Petty Theft vs Grand Theft
Even though theft is often charged as a misdemeanor, there are instances when it can be charged as a felony. This is one of the main differences between petty theft and grand theft. Someone is charged with petty theft if they have only stolen property that totals $950 or less. Examples of this include purse snatching, pickpocketing, shoplifting, and other smaller instances of theft. Grand theft occurs when you have stolen property that totals more than $950. In many cases, grand theft is charged as a felony, but there are instances when it can be charged as only a misdemeanor.
Working with an Attorney
Whatever your case may involve, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the subtle differences between theft, robbery, petty theft, and grand theft. They can also help build your case so you have a more favorable outcome. As they work with you, they can assist you in building your defense. A common defense might include a lack of knowledge, meaning you believe the property is lost, or lack of permanent intent, meaning you intend to return the property later.
Knowing the differences between specific charges can help you better understand your case and what you can expect. No matter what, it’s ideal to work with an attorney so they can help you through the process and you can avoid complications.
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Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.