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What are the differences between theft and robbery?

Most Maryland residents know that theft and robbery are serious crimes, and, depending on the situation, both crimes can be prosecuted as felonies in the state. And while both crimes have certain similarities, there are also significant differences between the two. But what are the differences between theft and robbery?

Theft is a crime that involves stealing property or money that belongs to someone else without that individual's permission. Theft basically causes harm to another person through the loss of these goods. And while borrowing an object with the owner's permission is not theft, using deceitful means to gain possession of the object from the owner is considered theft. It is also considered theft if the individual borrows the object and does not intend to ever return it to its rightful owner.

Robbery also involves taking property or money from another person. However, one of the differences between theft and robbery is that the robber must take the property directly from the other individual. That property can either be physically on that person, such as a wallet or jewelry, or it can be within the control of that person.

Another of the main differences between theft and robbery is that robbery involves the use or implied threat of violence. Even if an individual does not harm another person when stealing their property, if they threaten to hurt or injure the victim, then that person has committed robbery.

Being convicted of robbery can lead to very serious consequences. However, any Maryland resident who is facing robbery charges may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney in order to understand all of the potential consequences that could accompany a conviction.

Source: FindLaw, "Robbery Overview," Accessed Dec. 19, 2015

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