What is the difference between Theft and Robbery?

While theft and robbery are often thought of as being the same crime, there are some key differences between the two. Theft is actually a broad term that encompasses a number of different crimes in which one person steals someone else’s property.

Robbery is one very serious type of theft that can lead to second degree felony charges in Texas. Those found guilty of robbery may face heavy fines and up to twenty years in prison. If the crime is elevated to aggravated robbery, individuals may face first degree felony penalties.

Main Differences between Theft and Robbery

Theft and robbery are very similar in that both involve the taking of another’s property, but the differences can affect the severity of the punishments. Some of the main differences between theft and robbery include:

  • Theft includes taking any property without intent to give it back, while robbery is the more specific act of taking property directly from an individual using force.
  • Theft does not necessarily have a violence element while robbery does. However, a victim does not have to suffer an injury for the crime to be considered robbery—some sort of force merely had to be involved.

While the differences between theft and robbery are simple, they are important. Consider this example: an individual who simply takes a lady’s purse off of a table while its owner is not looking has committed theft, but a person who corners a woman in an isolated alley and demands that she hand over her purse has committed robbery.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Dallas

If you are facing theft or robbery charges, the Dallas criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter are ready to aggressively defend your case. Call us today at (214) 845-7007 to learn more.


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