In common conversation, people tend to use the words “theft” and “robbery” interchangeably, especially if they’ve been the victim of a crime. However, in the justice system, these terms actually refer to separate criminal offenses with different sentences. If you’ve been accused of robbery or theft, understanding the charges against you will help ensure you get a defense attorney with the right skills to provide the best representation possible.
What Is Theft?
In general, “theft” means knowingly taking someone else’s property without their consent or using it in ways that exceed any agreement made between the parties. Simply stealing something when the owner is not present is qualified as theft, as is using fraud or intimidation to acquire someone else’s property.
In Ohio, the severity of the charges depends on the value of the stolen property. For instance, stealing an asset worth less than $1,000 is considered petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by no more than six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Using fraud to steal valuables worth between $1,000 and $7,500, on the other hand, is a fifth-degree felony, with penalties of up to one year in jail and maximum fines of $2,500.
What Is Robbery?
Robbery also involves taking another person’s property without their consent, with one major distinction. In robberies, the perpetrator uses the threat of force to get the victim to comply. For instance, brandishing a gun or knife during a sidewalk mugging can elevate the charges to robbery.
Because robbery involves the threat of force, the penalties are often much more serious than those for theft. Ohio classifies most robberies as second-degree felonies, punishable by two to eight years in prison and maximum fines of $15,000. A defense attorney may be able to negotiate for less serious charges which carry a lighter sentence.
If you’ve been charged with robbery or theft anywhere in the Cincinnati, OH, area, let James F. Bogen, Attorney at Law, provide the aggressive legal representation you need. Over the past decade, this accomplished defense attorney has fought against a wide variety of charges, achieving positive results for clients in a wide range of difficult circumstances. Visit his website for a look at the types of cases he handles, follow his Twitter page for more legal tips, or call (513) 503-7251 to consult with a knowledgeable defense attorney today.