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Difference between Robbery and Larceny

Difference between Robbery and Larceny

In the criminal justice system, there are two main types of theft crimes: robbery and larceny. While both crimes are serious offenses, they have different elements and consequences. It is important to understand the difference between these two crimes so that you can make informed decisions if you find yourself facing charges. Here is a breakdown of the key differences between robbery and larceny.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is commonly defined as the taking of property from another person by force or threat of force. However, the legal definition of robbery can vary somewhat from state to state. In general, robbery requires two elements: (1) the taking of property from another person, and (2) the use of force or threat of force. The use of force does not need to be physical; it can be any type of action that puts the victim in fear of immediate harm. For example, brandishing a weapon or making a verbal threat would both qualify as using force or threatening force. Robbery is typically classified as a felony offense, and it can carry significant penalties if convicted.

What is Larceny?

Larceny is a legal term that is used interchangeably with theft. It typically refers to the taking of personal property without the use of force and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Larceny can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property stolen. In some jurisdictions, larceny may also refer to the unauthorized use of another person’s vehicle. Larceny is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.

Difference between Robbery and Larceny

Robbery and larceny are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between the two. Robbery is defined as taking personal property from another person by force or threat of force. Larceny, on the other hand, is defined as taking personal property from another person without their consent. In order to be considered robbery, the incident must involve some type of violence or threat of violence. Simply taking someone’s property without their consent is not robbery; it is larceny. This distinction is important because robbery is typically considered a more serious crime than larceny, and it carries harsher penalties. If you are facing charges of either robbery or larceny, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges and the potential penalties you may be facing.


The main difference between robbery and larceny is that robbery involves the use or threat of force, whereas larceny does not. This distinction is important for prosecutors and defense attorneys to understand when building a case, as the severity of the charge may vary depending on which crime has been committed. In general, however, both robbery and larceny are considered serious offenses and can result in lengthy prison sentences.

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