On TV, scriptwriters do not always get it right when picturing various criminal defense actions. For example, did you know that Illinois recognizes distinct differences between theft, robbery and burglary?
Theft means that you intentionally took something that was not yours
The classic example is the workplace thief who steals inventory or office supplies. This individual intended to commit the act. The bag of widgets did not just fall into their briefcase. Secondly, the property belonged to someone. The law differentiates between petty theft and grand theft, depending on the value of the property.
Robbery is a type of theft that involves force or threat of force against a person
Someone might need to mount a criminal defense in this type of property crime if the victim alleges that the person threatened them. You see this in movies when the robber approaches the victim in a dark alley, pulls out a gun, and demands valuables. Because even the element of threat is enough to bring this charge, it does not matter if the individual actually possessed a weapon at the time of the encounter.
Burglary is theft of property that includes the element of unlawful entering
However, there are some cases where the removal of property is not necessary for police to bring the charge. If someone broke into a house, but the homeowner chased them away, this individual could still face burglary charges even though they did not have time to take anything. It is immaterial if the unlawful entering took place in a business or private home.
If you are dealing with accusations in one of these crimes, you may need the assistance of a lawyer to handle the allegations.