The difference between a robbery and shoplifting is essentially the equivalent of the difference between having a common cold and having double pneumonia. Shoplifting simply requires taking someone else’s property with the intent to keep it. Shoplifting has a range of classifications depending on the value of the property that was stolen. For example, petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor because the value of the stolen property must be no more than $1,000. You can be fined for petit larceny up to $1,000 and can be put in prison for up to one year. On the more extreme end of the shoplifting scale classifications, if the value of the stolen property is worth more than one million dollars, it is considered first degree grand larceny, which is a class B felony. The penalty for this would be a fine that is double the amount of whatever the offender gained. Or, the person charged with this felony could face up to 25 years in prison.
Robbery requires the forcible taking by gun, weapon, strong-arm, physically, forcibly taking someone’s property with the intention of keeping it. Robbery is a felony. It can be punished as much as 8 1/3 to 25 years or more depending on whether you used a gun or weapon. Like shoplifting and many other crimes, robbery also has a range of degrees and punishments. If a person is charged with a first degree robbery, it is considered a class B violent felony and the person will receive at least five years in state prison.
If you are in need of legal counsel in New York State, please feel free to contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.