Robbery (Va. Code §18.2-58)
Many theft offenses in Virginia (Larceny, Embezzlement, Shoplifting / Concealment, etc.) are accomplished without the use of force. However, when force is used to commit a theft, you have a Robbery. Robbery was a crime at common law, which explains why the Virginia Robbery statute doesn’t state the elements of the crime. Robbery is an offense which merges theft and violence. Essentially, Robbery is using force, or the threat of force, in order to steal.
In Virginia, Robbery is an extremely serious felony criminal offense for which one can be sentenced to life in prison.
The line between what is a simple Larceny from a person and what is a Robbery isn’t always clear, but it’s incredibly important. In Virginia, someone who steals a wallet from another’s back pocket without being detected has committed a simple Larceny. Although it is probably a felony offense due to the value of the wallet, it is at least considered a non-violent offense. However, if the effort to steal the wallet is detected, a struggle ensues and the perpetrator pushes the victim, displays a weapon or makes a threat, that person has now committed Robbery - a violent felony offense for which he or she may be sentenced to life in prison.
If you’ve been charged with Robbery, Larceny, Embezzlement, Shoplifting, Concealment, Fraud or any other Misdemeanor or Felony Criminal Offense in Virginia call The Wilson Law Firm to speak with an experienced, successful and respected Criminal Defense Attorney. Call The Wilson Law Firm toll free at 877-CRIM-LWYR or 703-361-6100.