A robbery charge is a serious criminal accusation, and the punishments associated with a conviction for this offense become even more severe when a firearm was involved. That said, all individuals accused of this crime will have the opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations.
In all criminal cases, including robbery crimes, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution. If the prosecution cannot prove the following facts are true beyond a reasonable doubt in a robbery case, then a conviction cannot occur:
- The accused person took or stole property.
- The stolen property belonged to someone.
- The property was stolen from the owner's person or it was stolen while in the presence of the owner.
- The property was taken against the owner's will.
- The accused person committed the unlawful taking through intimidation, violence or brute force.
The final point above -- the element of force, violence or threat -- is essential to the crime of robbery, which is a more serious offense than theft or larceny. In cases where violence happened while the accused person was trying to escape after committing a theft, the matter would probably be viewed as theft or larceny as opposed to robbery.
In some cases, a pickpocket might not be construed to be a robber if they didn't use any threat or violence. However, only a small amount of threat or violence is necessary to classify a specific situation as a robbery. Therefore, if the pickpocket utilized the slightest amount of force on a victim who noticed the theft and resisted, then the matter would become a robbery.
Do you need more insight about your theft, larceny or robbery charges? Learn more about the specific laws that apply to theft and robbery crimes in Wisconsin.