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Question on shoplifting versus robbery?

Miami, FL |

I was told that if you shoplift from a location, and don't have any cash on you it can be considered felony ROBBERY. That is because you came in there with the intent to steal. HOWEVER.IF you have a debit card and cash on you isn't it possible to say "you were going to pay with a card" i'm just confused cause i keep reading you have to have CASH on you. If you had a debit card on you wouldn't that be a perfectly VALID defense?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. There is absolutely no truth to what someone told you. Robbery is the use of force or fear to deprive someone f property. It has nothing to do with your ability to pay.

    I only practice in the areas of personal injury, federal civil rights, and criminal law. I will not respond to inquiries about legal representation in other areas of law, so please do not call me about matters outside my areas of practice. Furthermore, my answers on Avvo do not create an attorney-client relationship. Avvo is not designed for the type of legal analysis I personally require to accept a case. You should always seek a consultation with a licensed attorney who practices in the specific area of law who can fully review the facts of your case.


  2. I agree with Mr. Dillingham. Whoever provided you that explanation of the law was completely wrong. If you are inquiring because you have a concern, do yourself a favor and talk to an attorney. Whoever you are receiving your legal advice from is going to hurt you more than help you.

    Good luck,

    My firm offers consultations in all areas of criminal law. David E. Little, Esq. Tampa/St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney No attorney client privilege exists by way of answering this question. You should always consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, and only discuss the facts of your case with your attorney, so you are protected by the attorney client privilege.


  3. Always seek legal advice from an attorney. What you describe above seems like "street advice" which is 99% of the time-- WRONG. A BURGLARY is breaking or entering of a structure, dwelling and/or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime therein. Burglary is a felony. Theft is taking something with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or person in lawful possession of it. Robbery requires proof of a taking by threat or violence. They are all very different. You can avoid violation of any of these statutes by simply not taking things that don't belong to you by any means and not entering a property you have no right or lawful purpose to be. However, every one makes mistakes-- even the police make mistakes and arrest people wrongfully and unlawfully, so if you are charged with ANY crime-- HIRE AN ATTORNEY AND DEFEND.

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