The Different Types of Robbery Charges Explained
People committed well over 300,000 robberies across America in 2017 alone. And on average, they stole items to the value of just $1,373—with banks, perhaps unsurprisingly, taking the hardest hits when it comes to monetary losses from robbery.
All types of robbery charges are serious charges because they’re considered violent crimes. This means the perpetrator used a weapon or physical violence when stealing the object or money in question. In the legal definition in all states in America and federally, this makes robbery different from theft or burglary.
Are you confused? Read on to learn more about what constitutes a robbery charge.
How Does the Law Define Robbery?
If you’re charged with robbery anywhere in the USA, it means you stole something from someone in a violent manner.
Defining a crime as a robbery needs to meet some core requirements. The accused must have:
- Taken something with the intent to steal it
- Taken someone else’s property
- Used violence or force to take someone’s possession
- Taken something from someone without their permission
State and Federal Definitions
Of course, the exact definition of “robbery” is different across state jurisdictions—but typically only slightly.
For example, in some states, a person can be charged with robbery even if the attempt was unsuccessful. And in others, simply the threat of violence is enough to upgrade a robbery vs. burglary charge—with robbery being the more severe charge.
In fact, understanding the difference between burglary and robbery can be confusing, especially since the definitions vary slightly from state to state. But basically, robbery includes the use of violence, whereas theft and burglary do not.
People can be charged with robbery by the federal court if they commit a robbery in US maritime jurisdictions or use extreme violence—such as taking hostages—to rob a state-regulated institution like a post office or bank, among other variations of the crime.
Penalties for Robbery
So, if you or a loved one is facing a robbery charge, what kinds of penalties might you expect to receive? Since robbery is considered a violent crime, it’s almost always a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
What does that mean? Well, a felony is the more serious charge of the two, usually resulting in prison rather than jail time, longer sentences, and more severe penalties or stigma once released.
If you committed aggravated robbery—home invasion, using a gun, a carjacking—you could expect a lengthy sentence numbering decades. On the other hand, if you committed a simple robbery, described as taking something of value from someone in a violent manner without using a dangerous weapon like a gun, your sentence would likely be considerably shorter.
In Detail: Types of Robbery Charges
When it comes to understanding types of robbery charges, you have to look past the word’s common usage. This means diving into the legal definition of “robbery” as a violent act of theft. If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery, seek legal assistance immediately to ensure your or their rights are upheld.
For more advice on legal matters in the USA, read the other articles on our website.