Theft and robbery are two very distinct criminal offenses. While both involve the unauthorized taking of another person’s money or property with the intent to deprive the person, robbery also entails the offender using or threatening to use physical force to take items from the other.
But in Arkansas, a theft offense can become a robbery offense.
Violent resistance to apprehension leads to robbery
Under Arkansas rules, robbery still has the same definition as in other states. By law, a person commits robbery if they employ or threaten to employ physical force upon another person to commit a felony or misdemeanor theft.
But the law also states that if a person resists apprehension through physical force or the threat of force immediately after committing a felony or misdemeanor theft, it’s also considered robbery.
The penalties for violent resistance to apprehension
Because physical resistance to apprehension for a theft offense is robbery, those convicted will face the same penalties. Robbery is a Class B felony, which leads to up to 20 years of prison and $15,000 in fines.
However, the offense becomes aggravated robbery if one of the following applies:
- The offender resisted apprehension using a deadly weapon
- The offender resisted apprehension while threatening that they’re armed with a deadly weapon
- The offender inflicted serious injuries to another person while resisting
- The offender caused the death of another person through their resistance
Aggravated robbery is a Class Y felony. A conviction leads to up to 40 years in prison.
What could’ve been a simple theft offense can quickly turn into robbery if the offender resorts to violence when resisting arrest. If you face similar circumstances, consider speaking with a legal professional to understand your position better and learn how to fight the accusation in court.