Differences Between Theft and Robbery in Norfolk

The consequences of a theft charge and conviction could have a lasting impact on an individual. The State of Virginia has different categories for theft charges with their own set of consequences and repercussions. These could include a lengthy jail sentence and hefty fines. A conviction could impact an individual’s ability to obtain housing, loans and hinder future job opportunities.

Even though theft and robbery are used interchangeably it is best to speak to an attorney to understand the differences. A tenacious theft attorney in Norfolk could provide legal advice and help individuals make the best decisions possible regarding their case.

The Differences Between Robbery and Theft

Theft and robbery are very similar in that they both involve taking or threatening to take an individual’s property. However, there a few differences between the two.


Theft is the act of taking property that belongs to another individual. This act is intentional and without the owner’s consent. For example, an act of theft could be purse-snatching but it could also involve breaking into someone’s car or house. Theft is a broad term with many different categories under its umbrella. The crime of theft could include identity theft, fraud, carjacking embezzlement, and more.


Robbery is considered to be a more serious crime in the State of Virginia. It involves taking an item directly from a person and using physical violence or threats of physical violence to do so. An individual could be charged even if no physical force was used. The intent or threat of violence alone makes the crime a robbery. If convicted an individual could face anywhere between five years to life in prison.

Types of Penalties In Norfolk

Virginia takes crimes of theft and robbery very seriously. There are a variety of consequences if an individual gets convicted. Depending on the value of the property stolen, an individual could be convicted for either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the value of the item stolen is over $500, then the charge of theft will automatically be considered as a felony offense. Generally, for theft convictions, an individual could face a minimum of one year in prison and up to 20 years. There could also be fines of up to $2,500.

For robbery convictions, individuals may be punished by a mandatory sentence of five years up to a maximum of life in prison. Offenders may also have to pay a fine of up to $2,500. The penalties may vary depending on the severity of the crime. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could provide more information about the potential penalties a person could face if convicted of theft or robbery.

How a Criminal Lawyer Could Help

Having an experienced attorney could make a major difference in an individual’s case. They may even be able to get charges dropped or lessen the potential consequences.¬†For example, if the Commonwealth believes that they would have difficulty obtaining a robbery conviction, they are going to be more inclined to offer a reduced charge. Also, that doesn’t take into account the defendant’s history. An individual with a clean criminal record who has never been in trouble with the law before is more likely to get the benefit of the doubt from a prosecutor, and that may influence their willingness to offer a plea deal with a reduced charge.

An attorney could help make ensure that their client is getting the best deal possible. They may be able to work out a better outcome or a good outcome to avoid a conviction. For more information about how a lawyer could help an individual’s case, they should speak to a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.