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How to distinguish between theft, robbery and burglary crimes

In Tennessee, law enforcement and prosecutors launch extensive investigations into all types of theft and property violations. Charges of theft, robbery and burglary are serious, and convictions can bring about severe punishments with devastating consequences. But what are the differences between theses three crimes? Although all three share the link of an act that involves the taking of another person's personal property without authorization, they are distinctly different.

Theft can also be called larceny, and it is the most basic because it merely involves the taking of property. By removing the property and denying the rightful owner of his or her personal property, a criminal act is committed. As long as the act does not include additional violations, it will be regarded as theft. However, if the accused person used any type of force or threatening behavior to obtain that person's property, it becomes a crime of robbery.

Although burglary is typically grouped with other theft crimes, such a charge can be filed even if it did not involve theft or robbery. If a person unlawfully enters the property of another, he or she may face a burglary charge. Even if entering the house, business or other property did not involve breaking and entering, the unlawful presence on another person's property may constitute burglary.

Defending property crimes can be complicated, and any person who is accused or suspected of theft, robbery or burglary may be well advised to consult with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can examine the circumstances and scrutinize the charges and the evidence. He or she can then protect the individual's rights and devise a defense strategy that aims to achieve the best possible outcome.

Source: FindLaw, "What's the Difference Between Burglary, Robbery, and Theft?," Daniel Taylor, Accessed on July 21, 2017

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