Robbery and theft are often used interchangeably when discussing taking someone else’s property or things. However, the law treats each offense differently as there are different requirements associated with each charge that must be established before being convicted for the offense. This article will describe what robbery is, the penalties for conviction, and what to do if you face a robbery charge in Michigan.
Skilled Michigan Criminal Defense Representation Team
The stakes can be incredibly high if you face a robbery charge in Michigan. Each circumstance has consequences, no matter how severe or minor the robbery charge. Depending on the severity of your charge, those consequences could follow you for the rest of your life. Robbery convictions on your record can seriously affect your family, career, and personal life. When there is so much at stake, it is crucial that you do not leave any aspect of your defense up to chance. Hiring an experienced robbery criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that you put on the best defense. George Law criminal defense attorneys have an extensive criminal defense track record and are ready to represent you in your criminal defense case. To learn more or schedule your free initial case consultation, call 248-278-7652 or visit our website today.
Robbery And Theft
Robbery and theft are used almost interchangeably in popular media and regular life. However, robbery and theft differ based on what the prosecution must prove to obtain a conviction.
To establish a larceny charge, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you took another person’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. Theft does not require any application of threat or force, merely taking another person’s property with the intent to deprive them of it permanently.
Generally, robbery involves a theft (larceny) that involves force or threat of force. While robbery involves theft, the main difference between a theft charge and a robbery charge is using force. As a result, because force is necessary and force can result in a greater chance of harm to the person or people involved, the law often has stricter penalties for those convicted of robbery.
There are two elements that the prosecution must prove to establish an unarmed robbery conviction. The prosecution must first prove that you committed an assault with force or violence. You must have either attempted or threatened immediate injury to another person or acted in a way that would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent harm.
Second, you must have intended to commit robbery when you committed the assault. The robbery does not need to be successful, or any property was taken; only the intent to commit the offense is required.
Armed robbery is a robbery committed with the assistance of an item that could cause serious bodily injury or death. An armed robbery may also occur where the robbery is attempted or completed with the use of an object made to act as a weapon or by the assertion that you had a weapon capable of causing harm or serious bodily harm.
For you to be convicted of armed robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You committed violence against or used force, put in fear, or assaulted another person.
- You committed violence, force, put in fear, or assaulted another person while committing theft. Attempts to commit theft, fleeing the scene of the theft, and other situations are also included in the definition of “theft.” The victim of the theft must have been present for the commission of the theft.
- While committing the theft, you
- Had a dangerous weapon that could cause serious injury or death; or
- Had any other object that could cause severe injury or death that was used as a weapon; or
- Had an object used as or made to cause the victim to believe it was a dangerous weapon; or
- Told the victim or otherwise represented that you had a weapon.
Lastly, if applicable, it must be proven that the suspect inflicted a severe injury or aggravated assault on another person while committing the robbery.
Robberies are charged and convicted as felonies in Michigan. Many felonies, including robberies, can come with substantial prison time and fines. However, if other additional or “aggravating” circumstances occur or exist during the commission of the robbery, you may face additional penalties. One of the most common aggravating factors is using a firearm to complete the robbery. In both armed and unarmed robbery, if an aggravated assault or serious bodily harm occurs, the courts will impose a minimum of two years in prison in addition to other penalties.
As robbery offenses involve violence, even unarmed offenses come with severe consequences. Unarmed robbery convictions are still felony convictions, for which you could still face up to 15 years in prison.
A weapon’s presence or asserted presence during a theft poses a serious threat to the victim, the perpetrator, and potential bystanders. However, depending on the circumstances of the armed robbery, you could face life in prison.
Hiring A Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
When you need experienced criminal defense representation, contact George Law. If you want to learn more or schedule your free initial case consultation, call 248-278-7652 or visit our website today.