defense attorney philadelphia

Looking at the Difference Between Theft & Robbery

defense attorney philadelphiaFor many crimes, people often confuse robbery and theft. While similar, the two crimes can be quite different. When you’re charged with robbery or theft, you need a defense attorney in Philadelphia that understands your case and can provide the best representation.

When a crime is committed, you need to know the difference between a theft and a robbery. Each involves various characteristics and tactics, while a court charges and punishes each crime differently.

What is referred to as a theft?

Theft is a generic umbrella term that covers many different crimes. While some states refer to theft as larceny or grand larceny, crimes classified as a theft include stealing someone’s property without their permission, taking property from an original owner, or having the intention of keeping property for your own use without returning it to the original owner. To determine theft, a victim doesn’t have to be present. If the victim is on vacation or an item goes missing from the home when the victim isn’t home, that is classified as theft.

What kinds of theft are most common when being charged?

While the most common form of theft is stealing physical items, there are other scenarios where individuals can be charged with theft. If, when in a grocery store, you replace the price tag of an item with a price cheaper than the item in your hand, that is also charged as theft

Plus, when an identity is stolen or a person is caught using another’s credit card, that is also defined as theft. Another form of theft that individuals may not know is when using public transportation without paying, an arrest can be made with the charge of theft.

What is referred to as a robbery?

Similar to a theft, a robbery charge occurs when someone takes someone else’s property without the permission of the owner. The distinction that classifies a robbery as opposed to a theft, is the stolen property is committed with the threat of force. To be charged with a robbery, the crime must have included all crimes associated with a theft but when the individual uses or threatens force by brandishing a weapon like a knife or gun.

Another distinction between theft and robbery is that robbery occurs when the victim is present. The use of a weapon or threatening to use a weapon to steal items from an individual requires a victim to be present.

What are the potential punishments?

For a theft, a lesser crime than a robbery, charges can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what was stolen and the value of the property. When threatening force and classifying the crime as a robbery, most cases are charged with a felony conviction.

If you’re charged with a robbery or a theft, you need the best criminal defense attorney in PA in your corner. Contact the Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino, Jr. when you need representation for a criminal theft or robbery case.