Differences Between Robbery and Theft in Philadelphia

Armed robbery and theft essentially are treated in a very similar fashion throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Although these crimes are related, the differences between robbery and theft in Philadelphia can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a case. Misdemeanor theft is a crime in which an individual takes an object from another without permission with the intent of depriving the other person of that object. When violence is coupled with the theft, the crime becomes robbery, which is a felony offense.

If you are facing charges of theft or robbery in Philadelphia, you should contact a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. A Philadelphia theft lawyer could analyze the details of your case and use your circumstances to negotiate with prosecutors. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and begin building a defense.

How a Theft Becomes a Robbery

The differences between robbery and theft in Philadelphia center around the use of violence during the offense. Theft in and of itself is a crime against another person that does not involve violence. If violence occurs during the theft, the crime becomes a robbery.

Even if an individual only has the intention to commit theft, if the threat of violence or force is used, that elevates what would have been a misdemeanor theft to the level of felony robbery. The purpose of the law is to dissuade individuals who are committing theft from causing physical harm or the threat of harm to another person.

If a firearm or another weapon is used that could cause serious bodily injury, armed robbery comes into play. Armed robbery is treated consistently more harshly than a simple theft or even a non-armed robbery. In all cases, robbery is graded as a felony charge throughout Pennsylvania, and as such, robbery should be defended in the most diligent of manners to avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.

Negotiating Robbery Charges Down to Theft

The facts of a specific case will often dictate the type of negotiation with prosecutors that can take place. Taking that into account, if the facts of a particular robbery warrant a reduction to just a theft crime, then having a resourceful, experienced Philadelphia robbery lawyer is essential.

Being able to present evidence of no threat or violence is also imperative and helpful when dealing with reducing a robbery to a theft crime. Charges can be reduced if the defense lawyer can show that force was not used during the commission of the theft. In addition, mitigating factors may come into play and be used to cause a charge to be downgraded from a robbery to a misdemeanor theft. Understanding the court and having a solid relationship with the prosecutors is at the forefront of mitigating or reducing any sort of robbery charge to theft.

Each individual’s case is different, and specific facts may also play a part in what warrants a reduction in charges. Not every case is applicable, but under the right circumstances, an individual should have at least the chance to discuss such a reduction prior to the completion of a robbery trial.

Benefits of Hiring a Robbery Lawyer in Philadelphia

Some people believe misdemeanor theft charges are not serious enough to justify hiring an attorney. However, a charge of theft can still lead to a criminal record that will follow someone for the rest of their life. Although there are significant legal differences between robbery and theft in Philadelphia, individuals convicted of either crime can often be prevented from gaining employment, mortgages, or any sort of legal career upon conviction.

Theft and robbery charges are the type of reputation-busters that can haunt individuals for the rest of their lives. If you face either of these charges, you should understand that hiring the right lawyer to defend you is essential. Get in touch with a diligent Philadelphia theft lawyer today to start working towards a favorable outcome in your case.