Understanding the Different Types of Robbery

Theft, burglary, and robbery are three distinct crimes with different legal repercussions, though people use them in everyday conversation interchangeably. If you need help after an arrest in Arizona for any of these three charges, talk with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The Definitions

Theft

Is whenever someone takes property from another without authorization. It usually involves the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Arizona law refers to acts of thievery as “larceny” and classifies them as crimes against property.

Burglary

Though often equated with theft, does not have to involve the act of theft or stealing. Instead, burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure with the intent of committing a crime. The person does not even need to commit the crime to receive a charge of burglary. Like theft, burglary is a crime against property.

Robbery

Is theft someone commits through use of force or fear? Someone swiping a wallet off a counter would be theft; someone taking a wallet by threatening another person or ripping it from the other person’s hand would be robbery. Because of the force involved, robbery is a crime against persons.

Types of Robbery

For determining sentences, Arizona law distinguishes types of robbery into three categories: basic, aggravated, and armed.

Robbery

For someone to commit robbery, the perpetrator must take the property of another against his or her will. This can include the use or threats of physical force, as well as coercing the other party to give up the property.

A robbery is a Class 4 felony charge. For first-time offenders, the sentence can be between one to 3.75 years in prison. For those with previous felony convictions, jail time can be for 2.25 to 7.5 years.

Aggravated Robbery

Aggravated robbery refers to a robbery committed with one or more accomplices present at the scene. The same basic qualifications for standard robbery must apply.

This crime is a Class 3 felony charge. The minimum sentence time for first-time offenders is two years in prison with a maximum of 8.75 years. For repeat offenders, the minimum sentence is 3.5 years while the maximum is 16.25.

Armed Robbery

As the name suggests, an armed robbery occurs when someone conducts robbery while in possession of a lethal weapon or with the threat of deadly force. The victim does not need to see the weapon for a robbery to be armed, so long as the weapon was on the perpetrator’s person at the time of the crime.

Armed robberies carry the most severe sentences and are Class 2 felony charges. Prison time will range between seven and 21 years for a first-time offender and range between 14 and 28 years for those with previous felonies.

In addition to jail time, the court may also sentence additional fines, restitution, or other punishments deemed necessary based on the extent of the crime. A sentence will also consider the value of items stolen during the robbery under laws pertaining to theft.

Possible Defenses

Since robbery results in severe legal consequences, a conviction can have a great effect on a perpetrator’s life. An incorrect verdict in such a case could severely damage the defendant’s future. Possible defenses for a robbery of any kind can include an alibi of the defendant’s presence elsewhere, a lack of intent, and violation of the defendant’s rights during the investigation.

Swift action is necessary to reduce the potential consequences of robbery. If you or a loved one is facing a robbery charge, you should seek the help of one of our Glendale criminal defense attorneys immediately. We can explain your rights, determine your most likely court outcome, and offer an unrelenting defense.