Despite the fact that the public often uses theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably in conversation, these are distinctly different charges, and do not mean the same thing in the eyes of the court. If you or someone you know faces charges related to one or more of these crimes, you should examine your legal options very closely, to make sure that you do not miss out on any important defense opportunities.
The longer you wait to begin building a defense to these charges, the more time that you afford your prosecution to build a case against you without any obstruction. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult for you to build your defense, and leaves you less time to do so. If you value your rights and freedoms, do not brush this responsibility aside.
While it is never ideal to receive criminal charges, it is generally better to receive theft charges than robbery or burglary charges. Theft occurs if you take property that belongs to someone else, without their permission and without intending to give the property back. It is important to understand that simple theft does not involve any acts of violence or threats, merely taking property from someone else.
These charges do carry serious legal weight, but receive lesser sentencing than their more serious counterparts because they do not involve violence or threat.
Robbery is essentially theft that involves either an act of violence or threat of violence. If, for instance, you were to snatch another person’s purse or wallet and run away, this would probably only constitute theft. However, if you approach another person and threaten harm if he or she does not hand over a wallet or purse, this likely constitutes robbery, because of the added element of violence.
While this may seem like a small distinction, it is very significant distinction in the eyes of the law.
Burglary is often the most misunderstood of all three charges. Burglary occurs when a person enters a structure of some kind unlawfully, while intending to commit a crime. This may include a home or business, or an area of an office that an employee does not have authorization to enter.
Once the individual enters the structure, he or she may commit burglary even if he or she intends to commit a crime, but never does. This crime does not have to include taking the property of others, but could be something else entirely.
In order to fight property crime charges of any kind, you must build a strong, personalized defense. Do not wait another day to begin assembling a defense that directly addresses your legal needs and keeps your rights and privileges protected.
Have you been charged with a crime? See our Criminal Defense service page for help now.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Levine Law.