Conviction of theft crimes, such as robbery or burglary, often leads to reputational harm and public distrust. Unfortunately, a variety of misconceptions about these charges lead to widespread confusion and misinterpretations.
There are a few things that everyone should know about the truth behind those myths.
All theft crimes are not the same
Public perception often places all theft-related crimes in the same category with the same perception of violence and wrongdoing. The truth is that the nuances of these crimes are significant. Robbery requires the use or threat of force while burglary simply requires unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime. Those differences represent important legal distinctions.
Intent is not always clear
Establishing criminal intent in a theft case is not always as easy as you might think. Before you plead guilty out of concern that the prosecutor can easily show intent, remember that they must prove that you deliberately intended to commit the crime. Some situations make that difficult to discern.
Theft involves more than stolen items
You might think that theft charges address taking specific items. Theft can encompass identity theft, fraud and embezzlement as well. Theft crimes include a broad spectrum of actions beyond simply taking property.
Larceny-theft accounted for 73.4% of property crimes in 2019 according to the FBI. Learning the truth about common theft crime misconceptions will help you better understand the situation and any charges you might face. Building a sound defense against theft charges starts with dispelling these myths so that you know the facts before you fight the charge.