What are the differences between theft and robbery?

People and businesses in Minnesota own various types of property. Some of this property is more valuable than others, but no matter how valuable the property, the owners of the property have complete control over it. This means that they can use it how they want to, can give it away, sell it or simply throw it away if they want. People also have an expectation that others will not steal it from them.

When people take other people’s property without their permission it can be a crime. People can be charged with theft or robbery when they do this. What they are charged with depends on the way the property was taken though.

Theft v. robbery

People are usually charged with theft, if they take property from people or businesses without using any type of force. An example of theft would be shoplifting. In these situations people take property from a store without paying for it, but do not threaten or harm any person when they are taking the property.

Robbery is charged when people either use force or threaten to use force when taking property from people’s person. This is what is charged when people have a weapon or hit people and demand or simply take their phone, wallet or other property from them. As robberies involve actual harm or at least the threat of it, it is considered a more serious crime and can result in increased penalties.

Levels of robbery

There are different levels of robbery as well. Simple robbery occurs if people simply threaten to harm people when taking their property. Second degree robbery occurs if people threaten to use a weapon against the person and first degree occurs when people cause bodily harm to the other person when taking the property. The potential penalties for first degree robbery are most severe.

There are many different reasons that people may take property from another in Minnesota. If they do they can be charged with various types of crimes and various levels of crimes as well. Being charged does not mean people are in fact guilty of that crime though and there could be defenses available to them. Experienced attorneys understand these defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights.