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Weinstein Legal personal injury law firm Fort Lauderdale

Theft vs. Robbery: What’s the Difference?

 
04/15/2021
Weinstein Legal
Read Time: 5 Minutes

The crime of theft carries serious consequences in the state of Florida. If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative to know the difference between theft, robbery, burglary, and the possible punishments for each offense. Many individuals believe that these three crimes are the same, yet their legal definitions vary. The difference between theft and robbery can mean a significantly different sentence upon conviction, and it is important not to confuse the two.

If you or a loved one are currently facing theft charges in South Florida, contact a criminal defense attorney such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal right away. Whether this is your first offense or you are a repeat offender, facing misdemeanor or felony charges, Mr. Shafran can help. It may be possible to have your charges either reduced or dismissed entirely, but not without the help of an aggressive lawyer fighting on your behalf to prove your innocence.

Do not take the chance in court alone to battle theft charges. This is a crime that the courts take seriously, and the possible consequences can have a serious negative impact on your life. Call Weinstein Legal today for a free case evaluation with no obligation. Ask to speak with attorney Matt Shafran, head of the criminal defense division and partner at the law firm. Call 954-845-0505. Our phones are open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

What Is Theft?

Florida Statute Chapter 812 Section 014 outlines the legal definition for the crime of theft in the state. The legislature states that, "A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently."

The penalties for theft in Florida vary significantly, based on the circumstances surrounding the crime as well as the monetary value of the items a suspect allegedly takes. The higher the value of the items, the more serious the criminal charge and severe the potential penalties.

Additional circumstances that may impact the severity of a theft charge include whether the crime takes place on state, county, or municipal property, whether the crime involves a government official, whether the location of the crime is under a declaration of emergency, whether a minor is involved or endangered, and more. Whether or not this is your first offense will also impact the severity of the potential consequences.

Penalties for a theft conviction may range from 60 days in county jail or 6 months of probation with a $500 fine for petite theft, all the way up to a conviction for grand theft of the first degree which carries a possible penalty of up to $10,000 in court fines and 30 years in prison.

Your crime must meet the criteria set forth for each charge. What this means is that if the circumstances and value of items only fulfill the requirements for petite theft, you may not face charges for felony grand theft. Speak with a theft attorney in South Florida such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal to see what consequences you may face as a result of your particular charges.

What Is Robbery?

When examining the difference between theft and robbery in the state of Florida, it is important to understand that robbery charges are a minimum of second-degree felony offense. Florida Statute Chapter 812 Section 013 outlines the definition and possible consequences for this crime.

According to the state legislature, "'Robbery' means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear."

The main difference between theft and robbery is that with the crime of robbery there is an element of violence or threat of violence. There are several different types of robbery charges, including:

  • Robbery by Sudden Snatching
  • Strong-Arm Robbery
  • Robbery w/ a Deadly Weapon
  • Home Invasion Robbery
  • Carjacking

The prosecution may upgrade robbery charges to a first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances. Robbery charges are particularly serious as they can carry a life sentence in prison.

What Is Burglary?

Another legal definition that often comes into play when considering the difference between theft and robbery is burglary. Florida Statute Chapter 810 Section 002 outlines the definition and possible consequences for this crime.

According to the state legislature, "'Burglary' means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain."

The main difference in the crime of burglary is that it requires an individual to enter a home or dwelling that is not their own. With theft and robbery, no such entry to any place is necessary to meet the criteria for the crime. Additionally, the crime of burglary does not necessarily have to include the theft or taking of another person's items or belongings. Simply entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime is enough to meet the requirements for the charge.

Like robbery, burglary is also at minimum a second-degree felony offense but may receive upgraded charges to a first-degree felony based on the unique circumstances of the case. This means that the penalties can be quite severe, with a conviction meaning up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and up to $10,000 in court fines.

Contacting a Theft Attorney in South Florida

If you are facing criminal charges and want to know more about the difference between theft and robbery, and wish to receive a free case evaluation, contact Weinstein Legal today and ask to speak with defense attorney Matt Shafran. Mr. Shafran will begin working on your case immediately, fighting aggressively to protect your rights and prove your innocence.

A conviction for theft, robbery, or burglary can have a long-lasting impact on your life, and there is too much at stake. Do not let another day pass without hiring a diligent defense attorney to represent you in court.

Call Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505 and ask for Matt Shafran.

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