Tennessee property crimes vary, depending on the circumstances. It is easy to get confused about the different categories of theft, robbery and burglary. When planning a defense, it is imperative to assess which charge applies to the situation.
How do theft, robbery and burglary differ?
After the arrest, it is important to understand the charges and how they impact the case and its potential consequences.
Theft – also referred to as larceny – is the simplest charge in these categories. It is considered theft if someone is accused of taking another’s property, was unauthorized to do so and meant to deprive them of it permanently. Taking a wallet that was left on a table would be considered theft.
Robbery – the items are taken without the other person’s permission, but it happens through physical force or intimidation. With the wallet example, the person alleged to have committed robbery would need to order the owner to hand it over or physically take it through real or implied violence.
Burglary – a person commits burglary who, without the effective consent of the property owner; 1) enters a building other than a habitation (or any portion thereof) not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault; 2) remains concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, in a building; 3) enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault is a Class D felony, or 4) enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane or other motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault, a Class E felony.
Aggravated Burglary – an aggravated burglary is burglary of a habitation and is a Class C felony.
Especially Aggravated Burglary – an especially aggravated burglary is: 1) burglary of a habitation or building other than a habitation; and 2) where the victim, lawfully on the premises, suffers serious bodily injury. This a Class B felony.
Tailoring a defense to the crime can be essential
Regardless of the criminal allegation, the defense is fundamental to achieving a positive outcome, whether that is an acquittal, a plea bargain or another solution. From the start, directly addressing the specific crime is vital. Having experienced legal assistance will help in determining how to fight the charges.