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Do you understand the elements of robbery?

Each state has its own definition of robbery, however, the laws contain the same basic elements.

Generally speaking, robbery consists of the following:

-- Taking with the intent to steal the personal property belonging to another party.

-- Taking the property against the other person's will.

-- Using threats, intimidation, or violence to secure the property.

In general terms, robbery is theft in cooperation with the use of or threat of violence.

Of course, there is gray area with regard to theft and robbery. Here is a question that often comes into play: What is the amount of force or violence required to turn a theft into a robbery? This depends on the particular situation, but here is something to remember: Even if only a small amount of violence is used, if it is enough for the victim to turn over property it is enough for the crime to be considered robbery.

No matter who you are, the person who committed a crime or a victim, it is important to understand the finer details of robbery, as well as how this differs from theft.

It is a common belief that robbery and theft are one in the same, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

When a person is charged with robbery, he or she is facing the possibility of a long prison sentence. This is why people in this position need to understand the law, including if they truly committed robbery, as opposed to general theft. Knowing your state's laws will help you avoid a serious charge and possible robbery conviction.

Source: FindLaw, "Robbery Overview," accessed April 19, 2016

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