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Former Assistant District Attorney
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

What general elements make up a robbery charge?

| Mar 5, 2021 | Federal Crimes

To some, theft, burglary and robbery may seem like the same event. However, each crime has differing elements, and while they may not seem significant, they can greatly influence the type of criminal charge a person faces as well as the possible consequences of a conviction if accused in such a scenario. As a result, if police have accused you of a crime involving the taking of someone else’s property, you may benefit from understanding the differences.

If a weapon was involved in the theft or attempted theft, the situation becomes more serious. Typically, a weapon is present in a charge of armed robbery or aggravated robbery. As you might expect, an aggravated charge could come with more severe repercussions if you face a conviction. However, you would be wise to keep in mind that you have the opportunity to defend against charges, and gaining information on your ordeal may prove helpful.

The elements of robbery

Robbery differs from theft or burglary because robbery tends to involve a victim. The victim does not necessarily have to suffer physical harm during the purported robbery, but if the person feels a threat of harm, robbery charges could still apply. Some other elements involved with this type of scenario include:

  • Taking property from another person or in that person’s presence
  • Taking that property with the intent to keep it
  • Taking the property against the will of the owner
  • Using force or the threat of force during the crime
  • Taking property that belongs to another person

As mentioned, if a gun, knife or other weapon played a role in the robbery, even without causing any injury, an armed robbery charge would apply. This type of charge could result in steeper penalties and may need a more aggressive defense, depending on the exact circumstances.

Does force always indicate robbery?

It may be worth keeping in mind that the timing of any force or threat of force could play a role in your defense as well. For example, if a person takes another individual’s property without force or threat of force but then pushes the individual while trying to escape, robbery may not apply. However, charges of theft and, possibly, assault could.

Again, the difference may not seem significant, but details like these could make or break a case. As a result, it is crucial that you go over every aspect of the situation while creating your defense. It is also important to keep in mind that Mississippi laws could have specific details regarding the handling of robbery cases that differ from the general elements listed here.