In the realm of criminal law, it can be difficult to understand the subtle differences between different charges. Robbery and theft (which is often called “larceny”), for instance, both involve stealing, but they are very different crimes.
How exactly do charges like robbery or larceny differ from one another? In this article, we explore the definitions and penalties of each crime, helping clarify each charge.
The Differences Between Robbery and Larceny
Robbery and theft appear to be similar crimes, but they are actually quite different.
Robbery is a theft crime that includes some form of force. It is considered a violent crime, and it is treated far more seriously than larceny. Whenever someone takes an item from another person by using physical violence, this is robbery. The force can be as simple as threats or as severe as using a firearm.
A robbery that involves a weapon, such as a gun or a knife, is considered an aggravated crime. The threat of violence is greater, and it can lead to serious harm or death.
Aggravated robbery is a more serious offense than simple robbery resulting in harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences and higher fines.
The state can also accuse someone of aggravated robbery when the alleged victim is seriously harmed. It doesn’t matter if the accused is believed to have used a weapon or not.
Larceny is the unlawful taking of someone’s property without any form of force or violence. Shoplifting, for example, is a form of larceny. Although larceny isn’t as serious as robbery and has lighter penalties, but both offenses are serious crimes and cannot be taken lightly.
The Penalties for a Robbery Conviction in Tennessee
In the state, robbery is a Class C felony. Penalties, therefore, are always severe, but circumstances can elevate them to an even higher status. A standard robbery can result in 3 to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Aggravated robbery, where the assailant uses a weapon or physically harms the victim, is a Class B felony. If convicted, a person could go to prison for 8 to 30 years. Tennessee also has a special category for especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony resulting in 15 to 60 years.
The Penalties for a Larceny Conviction in Tennessee
In TN, larceny punishments depend on the value of the stolen goods. Convictions can result in fines up to $2,500 and 4 to 6-year sentences.
If the court orders restitution, offenders must pay back any amount that exceeded $1,000. This amount also includes interest at 9% per annum. Failure to comply may also result in contempt of court charges.
Patton & Pittman Attorneys can help represent you if you’ve been accused of theft. Whether you are being charged with a violent robbery or simple shoplifting, we will stand by your side. For a free consultation, contact our firm online or call us now at (931) 361-4477.