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What Are The Differences Between The Various Terms Used?

Robbery is basically committed when a theft occurs by use of force or threat of force, against a person. Burglary is just going into some place with the intent to commit a felony. There are different degrees depending on whether it’s commercial or residential and whether or not anybody is present.

As far as the penalties go, they’re both pretty much treated the same way. In California they’re both felonies. They could both be strikes. They will both net significant time in prison and significant consequences, after it’s all said and done. Any kind of theft offense, especially these, will lead to significant disadvantage in the job market afterwards, because most people will not hire anybody with any kind of theft or felony conviction on their record.

What Is Meant By The Term Theft By Deception?

Any kind of theft by deception is going be a fraud. That could be something as basic as me coming to you and I tell you that I have this brand new Shelby Mustang. I don’t use it, but I want to sell it. I’ll sell it to you for $3,500. I’m making you think that I own it, but I don’t own it – I just have the car. Maybe I stole it. Maybe I found it, but I don’t own it. You agree to buy it. I’ve basically deceived you. I made $3,500 off of furthering that deception, and you have no title to the vehicle. Maybe I told you I had the car but I didn’t really have it. I just said give me the money first and then I’ll make sure the car is delivered to you. You’re out a vehicle and money.

What is Meant By Theft by Extortion? Is that the Same as Blackmail?

Yes. Absolutely! Everybody knows what blackmail is. It depends on circumstances. Let’s say you get fired from your job, and you’re upset; you work from home, so you have some company provided computer, phone or things like that. For whatever reason you’re not given your last paycheck. If you go into the company and say, “Look, I’m not returning any of these things until you give me my money,” that could be considered extortion.

You’re basically holding something for ransom. It’s a situation that people can find themselves in without really knowing it, because people think of extortion being some high-grade crime where it’s really complicated. It’s really just demanding something in exchange for something else.

Can People Get Into A Situation Unintentionally If They Demand Money Owed to Them?

Obviously, like in the example I brought up, if you earned the money, you earned the money, but you can’t necessarily hold things until you get the money because there are other avenues to take legally. That’s why I say if you hold that equipment until that payment comes in, I’m sure there’s going to be a line of thought that says that that’s going to be extortion.

What Is Meant By Receipt Of Stolen Property?

That’s basically where somebody either purchases or is given some sort of property that they know is stolen, and they keep it as if it were their own. If I told you I just stole a TV from Target, and I came to you, and I said I’ll sell it you for $100. You knew it was stolen, so even though you paid me money for it, you could be guilty of that crime just by the fact that you knew it was stolen and you still took it in.

What If The Person Didn’t Know It Was Stolen?

That becomes a different issue. Obviously if you can prove that, or if you can disprove the knowledge that’s attributed to you, then you shouldn’t be convicted because that crime does require knowledge of the item’s status.

If I Unknowingly Purchase A Stolen Item At A Flea Market, Could I Get Into Trouble For That?

Not if you didn’t know it was stolen. Obviously, a flea market is a place where you may expect a transaction to be legitimate and none of the items to be stolen. You have no reason to believe otherwise, so there shouldn’t be an issue with you getting in trouble. You probably have to give the item back, but as far as you getting in trouble and being charged with receipt of stolen property or the theft itself, that shouldn’t be an issue.

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