Any police arrest or criminal investigation should be taken seriously. However, some offenses carry harsher consequences than others upon a conviction.
Theft, for example, usually comes with more penalties than the average defendant expects. When theft involves robbery, the stakes are even higher.
How is robbery different than theft?
Theft is stealing or removing items that do not belong to you. Although theft is a component of robbery, they are not the same offense. Those who use weapons, violence or threats of either while stealing items commit the crime of robbery rather than theft.
Are all robbery charges the same?
In Tennessee, robbery can be charged in three different ways. The specific charge filed against you depends on the level of violence employed and whether anyone suffered injuries.
Unenhanced robbery involves using violence or instilling the fear of violence to steal something. As a Class C felony, penalties include 3 to 17 years of imprisonment.
The charge is upgraded to aggravated robbery when a victim suffers bodily harm or the defendant uses, displays or causes the victim to fear a deadly weapon. Aggravated robbery is a Class B felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Especially aggravated robbery is when victims suffer serious bodily harm, and the defendant uses a deadly weapon, an especially aggravated robbery charge is possible. As a Class A felony, convicted defendants face 15 to 60 years of incarceration.
Remember, if the authorities find additional incriminating evidence during the investigation, they may increase your charges at any time. That is why you should take your circumstances seriously and seek experienced legal guidance to protect your rights.