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Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Robbery Becomes Theft in a Denver Instant – A Criminal Defense Attorney Explains

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2017 | Robbery |

Denver Robbery Lawyer | Can Theft Turn into Robbery in Colorado?
Two main Denver crimes deal with taking something from someone else. They are Robbery and Theft. These crimes can quickly transition from one to another. If you are not careful, you could be facing the more severe of the two if just one simple fact changes: force. Even more surprising, a misdemeanor of one can quickly become a felony of the other.  Read how a Robbery can result from Theft.

Jefferson County Shoplifting Theft / Robbery Lawyer

The Colorado law definition of Theft – C.R.S. 18-4-401 – is:

“A person commits theft when he or she knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization or by threat or deception; or receives, loans money by pawn or pledge on, or disposes of anything of value or belonging to another that he or she knows or believes to have been stolen, and:

(a) Intends to deprive the other person permanently of the use or benefit of the thing of value;

(b) Knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value in such manner as to deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;

(c) Uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value intending that such use, concealment, or abandonment will deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit;

(d) Demands any consideration to which he or she is not legally entitled as a condition of restoring the thing of value to the other person; or

(e) Knowingly retains the thing of value more than seventy-two hours after the agreed-upon time of return in any lease or hire agreement.”

While this crime normally stays a misdemeanor as long as the value of the item taken is below $2,000, it can instantly become a felony Robbery charge if the item has any value at all – even $1.00.

Robbery in Arapahoe County and Douglas County: Theft + Force

In Douglas County and Arapahoe County, the definition of Robbery, located at C.R.S. 18-4-301, is:

“A person who knowingly takes anything of value from the person or presence of another by the use of force, threats, or intimidation commits robbery.”

Imagine a woman whose backpack is sitting on a playground park bench while she plays with her child. If someone takes the purse while the woman is looking the other way, that would be theft. However, if the woman sees the thief and there is even a minor struggle over the backpack, the person attempting to steal the purse will be charged with Robbery. Another example is a simple shoplifting gone bad as a security guard confronts the shoplifter and tries to get the item back. The common thread in these examples is theft plus some type of force. Of course, if you intimidate or threaten someone into giving you an item, it has the same effect as force. And, Robbery is seen as much more serious than Theft. If a firearm or knife is involved, it becomes Aggravated Robbery, and prison is pretty much guaranteed.

Adams County Robbery Lawyer | Theft Can Escalate into a Felony

Robbery is a class 4 felony in Northglenn, Westminster and Thornton. It is punishable by 2 to 6 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, with a possible $500,000 in fines. A simple shoplifting theft can quickly result in charges of Robbery. Never underestimate the power of the government to put you in prison for something small as circumstances quickly change.

When you or a loved one have been accused of Robbery or Theft, never talk with police. Instead, exercise your right to remain silent and contact the affordable criminal defense lawyers in Denver at the O’Malley Law Office, 303-731-0719. We offer a free consultation and together, can protect your future.

Image Credit: – David Castillo Dominici