How does robbery become a federal theft charge?

Any Oregonian who faces criminal charges such as robbery will understand that a little knowledge can go a long way. Knowing the charges and possible serious penalties involved can help the accused prepare a more effective and aggressive defense. This is particularly true if charges are elevated to federal criminal indictments. When this happens, an Oregonian facing a robbery charge will often face a federal theft charge; this carries more serious consequences.

Robbery is considered theft through the use of coercion or fear against a victim. Robbery is unlike burglary, which does not necessarily require the immediate presence of a victim. The basics element of a robbery include the intention to steal private property from a person through intimidation, force or violence. So what is the difference between theft and robbery? In theft, one person steals from another without violence and often without the victim being present. This is apparent when a person snatches a purse and runs away without engaging the victim. On the other hand, if the victim is ordered by the assailant to hand over the purse and is coerced or intimidated into doing so, then it is considered robbery.

When can charges be elevated? Robbery charges can be filed if a weapon was used or the victim was injured in the process. Then the charges can be elevated to armed robbery or aggravated robbery.

How does robbery become a federal theft charge? Most robberies are considered state crimes. However, the severity of the alleged crime will determine if it will become a federal offense. If an Oregonian attempts to rob a bank, loan, and savings institution or a credit union it is considered a federal crime. A robbery that affects interstate commerce, like robbing a train with goods intended for another state is also a federal offense.


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