Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

While television shows and movies about police and police procedurals seem to be on nearly every network (and the countless spinoffs and reboots seem to constantly overwhelm our screens), there is little in the way of actual facts in these shows. Instead, we are treated to dramatic readings of suspects’ Miranda Rights, but there is usually little payoff in the way of actual laws and legal procedures.

Perhaps people don’t want to know the difference between legal criminal statutes? Maybe I’m the only one who wants to know the difference between armed robbery and regular robbery? Living in Wisconsin, crimes in our area are not featured on TV as much as New York City or L.A., although we did get quite a boost by the Netflix show “Making a Murderer” if you can call that a “boost”. Attorneys in the state, like the firm Kohler & Hart, that help people with armed robbery defense in Milwaukee, definitely know the difference between the types of criminal statutes.

When it comes to the specific criminal statutes, you often are left to wonder, “what is the difference?” One specific crime that seems simple but is often not clearly explained is the difference between “armed robbery” and “robbery”. How does this work?

While it is true that armed robbery charges require the use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon, most of us assume that that weapon always has to be a gun, knife, or bat, or some other obviously threatening device. What many of us don’t know is that other items, like pepper spray, for example, might also be classified as a weapon and therefore warrant an armed robbery charge. The breaking point here is whether or not the victim in the crime felt that the article the “robber” used was used or displayed in a manner that the victim could reasonably have felt like they were in danger.

In order to constitute armed robbery, something has to have been stolen. The act of theft must play a part in the act somehow. Theft, by definition, is the taking of someone’s personal property with the intent to deprive them of it, which allows for borrowing to be legal, obviously. The next factor must be the use of force during the theft. Without force, it would simply be theft, but the physical act of touching another person or verbally threatening them constitutes robbery. Finally, the use or displaying of a weapon must be shown to raise the charges to armed robbery. Now, the important thing to note that was not discussed above, is the pretense of having a weapon (like implying that you have a gun) is also enough to warrant the armed robbery charge. Other items, like the pepper spray listed above, as well as pellet guns, bottles, broken glass, or other threatening items can also be considered weapons.

It is a shame that more information is not readily available to the public about the different types of criminal charges. For one, people would understand the false information they read or hear about through books, TV, and other medium, and if they are ever in trouble with the law (which hopefully won’t happen) they will be more familiar with the charges they may face.

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