Theft is taking another’s a property without permission. Robbery is theft by force or threat of force. Both property crimes are rigorously prosecuted in Alberta. Like other property crimes, theft and robbery are divided into two categories, involving property valued under $5000 and over $5000. Generally, theft of lesser-valued property will be addressed as a summary conviction. The more valuable the property, and the more force or threat of force used, the more likely the Crown will prosecute the matter by indictment.
An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you navigate through the many complexities of a criminal prosecution, including:
- Bail hearing
- Disclosure review
- Negotiations with prosecutors
- Trial if necessary
Remember that you should never speak with police or prosecutors upon arrest or attempt to represent yourself. Don’t risk your rights and your freedom by going it alone.
At 403 678 7360, our lawyers have the skill and professionalism to defend your rights.
What Is the Difference Between Theft and Robbery in Calgary?
Theft requires that the Crown prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of these elements:
- The defendant moved, caused something to be moved, or began to move an object that belonged to someone else
- The defendant moved the property with the intent to temporarily or permanently steal it from the rightful owner without consent, and
- The value of the property involved, whether worth less than or more than $5000
Robbery is theft by use of violence or threat of violence. That is the essential difference between theft and robbery. The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of theft plus the added element of use or threat of violence. The presence or pretense that weapons are involved will increase the severity of the charges and punishment.
Robbery might be a street mugging, a convenience store stickup, or a bank robbery. Like theft, the severity of robbery depends on the value of the property and the circumstances of the criminal activity.
What Are the Consequences of a Theft or Robbery Charge?
The consequences of a theft conviction involving property valued at less than $5000 depending on whether the charge was prosecuted as a summary conviction or by indictment. The lesser route of summary conviction can result in a maximum sentence of 2 years ,less one day in prison. An indictable conviction can result in a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison.
A conviction for theft involving property valued at over $5000 is more serious and can result in a sentence of no more than ten years in prison.
Robbery, the more serious offence, can result in a life sentence. If a firearm was used, the minimum sentence is four years. If a restricted firearm was used, even a first offence might bring a 5-year prison sentence. A second offence requires a 7-year minimum sentence. A robbery committed in connection with a criminal organization re5-year a 5-year minimum sentence for a first offence, with a second or subsequent offence mandating a 7-year minimum sentence. Using a disguise will also enhance sentencing with an additional year.
Sentences for both theft and robbery depend on other factors, such as the property’s value, the relationship between the defendant and the complaining witness, the defendant’s criminal history, and other personal factors.
How Can a Theft and Robbery Lawyer Help You?
You should never try to represent yourself when your face the full weight of the Crown’s authority. Instead, you need to remain silent and hire an experienced theft/robbery lawyer right away. A skilled lawyer can protect your rights, start constructing an effective defence and negotiate with prosecutors.
One of the first steps is obtaining your release from jail pending trial. In certain circumstances, even defendants facing theft/robbery charges are entitled to reasonable bail. You don’t want to languish in jail when you could be back with your family, perhaps working and helping your lawyers construct a viable defence. At 403 678 7360, we rigorously advocate for our client’s release.
An experienced theft/robbery lawyer can investigate the police to challenge their methods and how they secured evidence and witness testimony. Plus, a skilled theft/robbery lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors, develop a comprehensive legal strategy, and prepare to go to trial if necessary. And prosecutors who must face criminal defence lawyers with a record of success are much more likely to consider withdrawing charges or charging lesser offences. 403 678 7360 can help.
Your reputation, freedom, and future are at stake when facing criminal charges of theft/robbery. At 403 678 7360, our compassionate and skilled lawyers can help. We have a reputation amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta for fierce representation and deep legal acumen. Contact us today at 403 678 7360 for your free initial consultation.