Delaware Robbery Really?

September 9, 2010


1156821_handcuffs.jpgFrequent readers of the newspaper in Delaware will notice a shocking amount of robberies at local stores. A robbery in the second degree per Delaware law is essentially a theft with the use or threat of force. So who is using force to rob all of these stores in Delaware? Well honestly, not many people.

While a headline with the accompanying felony charge might make good news, it oftens blurs the truth. What typically happens in these cases in stores is that a shoplifter will be making there way out of a store, a theft prevention employee will accost them, and the shoplifter will attempt to break free. This is the force they note when making this charge.

This interpretation takes what may be a ten dollar theft into a violent felony, quite the jump considering the force is only wiggling out of the grasp of a store employee. While charging the crime this way may not be the intent of the law, it does follow the letter of it.

Fortunately many prosecutors will notice that the level of this charge does not fit the actual crime, and are willing to reduce the charge at preliminary hearing. It is important to have an attorney at your preliminary hearing to hopefully resolve the matter at preliminary hearing because if it isn't, it will lead to Superior Court and that prosecutor may not be as willing to reduce the charge, and the stress will remain on the defendant for a much longer time.