Theft Verses Robbery
When speaking about theft and robbery, many people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably. While similar in nature, these offenses have some distinct differences. A Colorado theft charge is serious in nature, but a Colorado robbery charges carries with it much more significant consequences. The defining difference between the two is the use of violence or lack thereof to steal another’s belongings. Theft escalates to robbery when the use of force or violence becomes involved.
Committing theft in Colorado can be defined as intentionally taking valuable property from someone else without their consent. Other factors that constitute Colorado theft, include stealing with the intent of permanently keeping the item, requiring payment for the stolen property in order for it to be returned, or using, abandoning, or concealing the stolen item(s).
Penalties for Colorado Theft
Consequences for Colorado theft are contingent upon the value of the stolen items. Therefore, it is possible to be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specifics of your case.
If the value of the stolen items is less than $500 you will be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor and serve up to 12 months in prison, in addition to a fine of up to $1,000. For stolen items worth $500 and up to $1,000, you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor, garnering consequences of up to 18 months behind bars, as well as up to $5,000 in fines. For stolen property valued at between $1,000 and up to $20,000 you will be charged with a Class 4 Felony with penalties, including up to 6 years spent in prison, fines up to $500,000, and at least three years of parole. In cases were the stolen property exceeds $20,000 in value, you will be punished with a Class 3 Felony, up to 12 years spent in prison, up to $750,000 in fines, and at least five years of parole.
Other considerations, such as a prior history of theft will be taken into consideration from the court system. It is possible to receive increased consequences as a result.
Theft escalates to robbery when the person committing the theft uses force or the threat thereof to confiscate property from another. At times, it can be difficult to discern whether a person engaged in theft or robbery, leaving interpretation to the courts.
In order for theft to escalate to robbery, specific conditions must be met, including the victim being present when the property is stolen, as well as the perpetrator using intimidation or force to steal the property. Be aware that you could still be charged with robbery even if you only used threats, without physically attacking the person or using a weapon. Thus, robbery can quickly become a gray area, making interpretation by the courts extremely important in the outcome of your case.
Penalties for Colorado Robbery
If you are charged with non-aggravated robbery you will receive a class 4 Felony, spend up to 6 years behind bars, and pay up to $500,000 in fines. If you are charged with aggravated robbery you will face a Class 3 Felony with consequences, including up to 12 years spent in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. Charges for aggravated robbery of a controlled substance carry with it a Class 2 Felony and harsh penalties, including up to 24 years behind bars, as well as up to $1,000,000 in fines.
If you have been charged with Colorado theft or robbery be sure to consult immediately with a skilled Colorado attorney. If your case includes gray areas, it is of particular importance that you seek experienced counsel. An attorney can ensure the best outcome possible for your case!