Robbery is the crime of taking the property of another person with the intent to permanently deprive the person of the property. The robbery must be committed in the presence or proximity of the property owner.
Due to force or threat of force often involved in robbery cases, robbery is almost always categorized as a felony rather than as a misdemeanor in jurisdictions that differentiate between the two.
Strong-arm robbery typically causes bodily injury or threatens to injure someone while during the theft of their property. For example, if a thief is engaged in robbing a big-box retail store and is confronted by a loss prevention agent, the thief may be described as engaging in strong-arm robbery if they threaten to punch or do punch the agent as part of the crime.
Strong-arm robbery is different from armed robbery in some jurisdictions when armed robbery involves the use of, or threat of use of, a deadly weapon as described by the law.
While robbery requires that an actual theft take place and that the theft involved the use of force or a threat, burglary is a different story altogether.
To be charged with burglary in most jurisdictions, an offender must only be accused of having unlawfully and intentionally entered a place without the consent of the owner — and with the intent to steal or commit a felony. With a definition this broad, it is possible to see that someone could be potentially charged with burglary for having simply entered, without consent, someone else’s property. A conviction requires proving intent not only of the unlawful entry of a place belonging to another person but also, intent to commit a felony or to commit a theft.
To illustrate a scenario of burglary, an unarmed individual who checks an apartment door, finds it unlocked and willfully enters a residence not belonging to them — and without consent — has already satisfied half of the qualities of a burglary charge. While inside, if this same individual exhibits any behavior which indicates a desire or intent to steal property, they then satisfy the second condition of intent necessary to qualify as burglary. Video evidence from a security camera, as well as eyewitness testimony, can be evidence used to substantiate these charges.
Aggravated robbery and armed robbery are two charges which are used, for the most part, interchangeably.
Aggravated robbery is an escalated form of robbery in which the offender utilizes, or threatens the use of, a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. A knife, a gun, a club or even a tire iron could be construed as a deadly weapon depending on the definitions of the jurisdiction of the charge.
The punishment for armed robbery depends not only on details such as where the robbery took place, how much material was stolen and the weapon used/threatened) but also on whether you are facing federal or state charges.
For example, if you are convicted of armed robbery of a bank (typically prosecuted at the federal level, as financial institutions often fall under federal jurisdiction), you could face up to 20 years in prison in addition to steep fines. If a weapon, or a threat of force, is not involved, the maximum sentence is up to 10 years behind bars.
However, if you are convicted of armed robbery in Florida, you could face life imprisonment in addition to a fine of up to $10,000. Simple robbery, by contrast, is a second-degree felony resulting in a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and, likewise, a fine of up to $10,000.
Most states consider armed or aggravated robbery to be more severe than simple robbery or common theft and have more severe penalties. Armed robbery is almost always considered a serious felony rather than a misdemeanor, and penalties for a first offense generally range from five to 15 years.
If you have been charged with the crime of robbery, your liberty is at stake. It is advisable that you seek legal counsel. A conviction for robbery will give you a criminal record, and even if you get sentenced to only probation or community service, you will have to suffer the many inconveniences and societal disapproval that come with having a criminal record.
An experienced robbery defense attorney can assist you in many ways. From arrest to sentencing, a lawyer can help protect your rights, advise you on legal strategy and get you the best outcome possible.