The Differences between Theft and Robbery

The Differences Between Theft and Robbery

Both theft and robbery are crimes in Louisiana that deal with the taking of something that belongs to someone else. Robbery is a crime against the person. A robbery occurs when a person takes something of value belonging to another from the person herself or that is in the immediate control of the person, by use of force or intimidation. In other words, for a person to commit a robbery against another, he must take something that the person is holding, has on her body, or that is in the immediate control of the person. For example, if a person takes a purse that is on the victim’s shoulder by threatening to shoot her if she does not give him the purse, he has committed a robbery.

On the other hand, a theft is the taking of something of value that simply belongs to another with the intention of not giving it back. For a theft to occur, the victim need not be present at the scene or in control of the item. Theft is also called larceny in some states. A theft can also occur by fraud such as by stealing services such as cable, telephone, or electricity, or by stealing things electronically on the Internet.

All Louisiana robberies and thefts are found in the Louisiana Criminal Code which begins in Section 14:01 of the Louisiana Revised Statues. The first section of the Louisiana Criminal Code is cited as La. R.S. 14:01 or La. Rev. Stat. 14:01. There are several types of robberies in Louisiana. They are armed robbery (La. R.S. 14:64), first degree robbery (La. R.S. 14:64.1), armed robbery with use of a firearm (La. R.S. 14:64.3), second degree robbery (La. R.S. 14:64), and simple robbery (La. R.S. 14:64.5). There are also two robbery type crimes with different names. With these crimes, the offender also takes something of value that belongs to someone else. These two crimes are carjacking (La. R.S. 14:64.2) and purse snatching (La. R.S. 14:65.1).

The armed robbery statute states that “Armed robbery is the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, while armed with a dangerous weapon. …  Whoever commits the crime of armed robbery shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than ten years and for not more than ninety-nine years, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.”

The first degree robbery statute states that “First degree robbery is the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another, or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, when the offender leads the victim to reasonably believe he is armed with a dangerous weapon.  … Whoever commits the crime of first degree robbery shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than three years and for not more than forty years, without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of imposition or execution of sentence.”

The armed robbery with use of a firearm statute states, “When the dangerous weapon used in the commission of the crime of armed robbery is a firearm, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor for an additional period of five years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.  The additional penalty imposed pursuant to this Subsection shall be served consecutively to the sentence imposed under the provisions of R.S. 14:64. … When the dangerous weapon used in the commission of the crime of attempted armed robbery is a firearm, the offender shall be imprisoned  at hard labor for an additional period of five years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.  The additional penalty imposed pursuant to this Subsection shall be served consecutively to the sentence imposed under the provisions of R.S. 14:27 and 64.”

The simple robbery statute states, “Simple robbery is the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, but not armed with a dangerous weapon.  … Whoever commits the crime of simple robbery shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than seven years, or both.”

The carjacking statute states, “Carjacking is the intentional taking of a motor vehicle, as defined in R.S. 32:1(40), belonging to another person, in the presence of that person, or in the presence of a passenger, or any other person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle, by the use of force or intimidation.  … Whoever commits the crime of carjacking shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than two years and for not more than twenty years, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.”

The purse-snatching that, “Purse snatching is the theft of anything of value contained within a purse or wallet at the time of the theft, from the person of another or which is in the immediate control of another, by use of force, intimidation, or by snatching, but not armed with a dangerous weapon.  …  Whoever commits the crime of purse snatching shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than two years and for not more than twenty years.”

There are also several forms of theft in Louisiana. They are theft (La. R.S. 14:67), theft of livestock (La. R.S. 14:67.1), theft of timber (La. R.S. 14:67.2), theft of a firearm (La. R.S. 14:15), identity theft (La. R.S. 14:16), theft of anhydrous ammonia (La. R.S. 14:67.19), organized retail theft (La. R.S. 14:67.25) and theft of a motor vehicle (La. R.S. 14:67.26.

The basic theft statute states that, “Theft is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. An intent to deprive the other permanently of whatever may be the subject of the misappropriation or taking is essential. … Whoever commits the crime of theft when the misappropriation or taking amounts to a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than twenty years, or may be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.”

The specific theft statutes all deal with stealing specific things like livestock, timber, firearms, someone’s identity, anhydrous ammonia, or a motor vehicle. Each of these statutes has the common element of taking or misappropriating something that belongs to another.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans criminal lawyer Gaynell Williams, L.L.C. has offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only to serve victims of auto accidents, work related accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.

 

 

By |2019-08-12T06:25:50-05:00August 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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