When a person intends to deprive another person of his or her rightful property, he or she is guilty of theft. Theft is a crime and, depending on the value of the property taken, can result in felony charges. Felony theft charges alone pose a threat to a person’s freedom and future. Robbery charges, however, are even more serious, and may result in a Class II felony conviction. If you face criminal theft charges in Nebraska, you may wonder what makes theft robbery. Nebraska Revised Statute 28-324 explains the elements of robbery.
The most basic definition of robbery is the intent to steal another person’s property by threat of violence, force or fear. For clarity’s sake, “stealing” refers to taking another person’s property with the intent to keep it wrongfully and to permanently deprive the rightful owner of it. You commit robbery if you use any of the aforementioned vehicles (violence, force or fear) to steal money or personal property from another, regardless of the stolen item’s value.
If you display a weapon during the act of theft, the prosecution has sufficient enough evidence that you committed a robbery. This is true regardless of whether you actually used the weapon.
When theft occurs secondary to another charged crime, like assault or rape, the prosecution has the right to infer that the necessary elements of robbery had been present. In this case, you would face multiple charges.
Interestingly, you would also be guilty of robbery if a police officer bought drugs off of you and if, upon discovering the officer’s identity, you tried to get the drugs back. If the officer first refused, but then you offered him or her the money back in exchange for the drugs, and the officer ultimately gave you the drugs back, you are guilty of robbery. The underlying assumption is that the officer felt threatened during the confrontation and as if he or she had no choice but to give the drugs back to you.
Robbery is not always as straightforward as the stereotypical bank robbery scenario. The charge can extend to other circumstances as well, depending on the details of the case.