For those who are facing criminal charges, it is important to understand the distinction between different types of property crimes. These cases involve accusations of taking another’s property without permission. Criminal charges for theft can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class F felony with the specific penalties being based on the value and type of property that was allegedly stolen. However, if a person is accused of taking property directly from a person by using force or the threat of force, robbery charges may apply. Since robbery is considered a violent crime, more serious felony charges will apply, and a person may also face other related charges, such as assault. By understanding when an alleged offense may lead to robbery charges and the penalties that may apply for a conviction, criminal defendants can make sure they are taking the correct steps to defend themselves.
Understanding Robbery Charges Under Wisconsin Law
Wis. Stat. § 943.32 defines the offense of robbery, and states that a person can be charged with robbery if they took money or property from someone else through the use of force or by threatening to use force.
The use of force may involve any action in which a person physically overcomes someone else, such as by striking them on the head or body, restraining their movements, or forcibly yanking objects out of their hands. A threat to use force or harm someone may also lead to robbery charges. For example,, if a person allegedly states that they will injure the owner of property or someone else if the owner does not turn the property over, robbery charges may be appropriate. Even acting in an intimidating matter or implying that force will be used to take property may be considered athreat that could lead to robbery charges.
Robbery is generally classified as a Class E felony, and a conviction may result in a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. However, a robbery charge may result in a Class C felony in cases involving the use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon. If a person is accused of committing robbery using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon, such as a gun or a knife, , they may face a sentence of up to forty years in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both. Armed robbery charges may also apply if a person acts in a way that causes the alleged victim to reasonably believe that they would use or possess a dangerous weapon, even if the alleged offender does not actually have such a weapon with them.
The use of force to commit robbery could also lead to other types of charges as well. For example, battery charges may apply if a person is accused of intentionally inflicting injuries on someone else. While battery is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor, felony charges may apply if the alleged victim suffers substantial bodily harm or great bodily harm. These charges may apply in addition to robbery charges, and a conviction on multiple charges may lead to an increased sentence.