Robbery, Larceny and the Different Kinds of Theft

Although the terms seem interchangeable, there are several differences between robbery and larceny. You may find some other terms thrown in as well, such as theft and burglary. It is absolutely imperative that you understand the difference between robbery and larceny. Those nuances mean a lot when it comes to defense and verdicts.

What You Need to Know About the Different Terms for Theft

In all cases, these terms all fall under the categories of theft. As theft charges, they all imply that someone tried to permanently and unlawfully deprive someone else of their property. What differentiates them has to do with the circumstances surrounding the theft.

What Is Larceny?

Broadly, larceny is just an umbrella term for practically any type of theft. When someone unlawfully takes something from someone else, in any capacity, they can face a larceny charge. Larceny typically implies the perpetrator did not use force or unlawful entry to perform the theft.

Usually, larceny comes in two categories:

  • Simple larceny: Theft of items with low cash value
  • Grand larceny: Theft of items with high cash value

If someone snatches a purse and runs or picks a pocket, they commit larceny. In addition, vehicle theft almost always falls under the category of grand larceny or grand theft.

What Is Robbery?

Theft becomes robbery when force and fear become involved. Taking something from someone by force or intimidation turns a theft into a robbery. In cases of robbery, the theft must involve another person directly.

If someone steals something from someone through trickery or sleight of hand, then the theft remains a larceny. Violence, the threat of violence or implied violence against someone separates robbery from other types of theft charges. If these elements aren’t present, the theft becomes larceny, rather than robbery.

When someone uses force to commit robbery, they can also face an aggravated assault charge. Other charges can come into play depending on how someone commits a robbery. For example, if the perpetrator brandishes a weapon, they can face an armed robbery charge.

What Is Burglary?

When someone enters a place to steal something, it falls under the burglary category. The biggest difference between burglary and other forms of theft is that burglary implies unlawful entry. Because of that distinction, a burglary charge can occur even if the person doesn’t steal anything. If an intent to take something exists, the charge can stick.

What You Need to Do About a Theft-Related Criminal Charge

All theft charges can come with serious consequences. If you find yourself facing such a charge, you should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you figure out which steps you need to take to give your case the best possible chance.

Connect with a qualified criminal defense lawyer today. Whether it’s a robbery, burglary, or any other theft-related charge, contact the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas immediately.

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