Theft and robbery crimes are often confused because they are relatively similar. A theft crime is when a person takes someone else’s money or personal property without permission. Theft can also be when a person intends to keep another person’s property permanently. On the other hand, robbery is when a person takes another person’s money without permission using force or the threat of force. Although theft and robbery share similar characteristics, the offenses and charges are different.
What Makes Theft & Robbery Charges Different?
For theft crimes, the alleged victim doesn’t need to be present for the offense to occur. For example, someone can commit theft by taking unattended property, such as stealing a parked car or keeping an item another person leaned you. On the contrary, the alleged victim must be present during a robbery. For example, if a man armed with a gun enters a jewelry store, demands to take the jewelry, and flees with it, it would be considered robbery. Since the person used the threat of force and took the money directly from the salesperson, it would be considered robbery.
How Do the Charges Differ Between Theft & Robbery?
The state can issue theft charges as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the stolen property. If the value of the stolen property is $500 or less, the state will charge the suspect with a misdemeanor. If the stolen property's value exceeds $500, they will face felony charges. In contrast, robbery is a more serious crime because it involves force. If a robber possesses a weapon while committing robbery, they will face first-degree felony charges, which can result in a life sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. If a person enters a property unlawfully with the intent to steal (i.e., home invasion), it is a first-degree felony as well. If unarmed, they will face second-degree felony charges that are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Contact Our Experienced Tampa Theft & Robbery Attorneys!
Although theft and robbery crimes are often confused because of their similarities, the differences between them are significant. Regardless of whether you face theft or robbery charges, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., our legal team offers reliable advice and representation to clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges in Florida. We have handled more than 7,000 cases throughout Tampa and surrounding areas. Our team of attorneys works tirelessly to help people get the best possible results for their circumstances.
If you need legal assistance, contact our Tampa theft and robbery lawyers today at (813) 321-7323! We are available 24/7.