Interviewer: What’s the difference between robbery vs. burglary?
Paul Tafelski: The difference is robbery involves an element of force and an element of threat; whereas burglary can be more- sneaking around and doing stuff “in the dark” so to speak.
The Penalties for Robbery are Harsher as It Involves an Element of Violence or Threatened Violence
Interviewer: Which one has harsher penalties?
Paul Tafelski: Typically robbery is going to be more harshly punished because it’s a crime that involves sort of an assault in nature, along with a theft aspect. It’s kind of a double whammy in the criminal justice system, stealing by use of threats or force.
People May Feel Discouraged and Contemplate Giving Up on Defending Their Case
Interviewer: Do a lot of people ever feel real discouraged and want to give up?
Paul Tafelski: Yes. A lot of people feel like things are hopeless when the case starts and that is really just the wrong time to give up. It’s time to stand up and just keep thinking and keep working. It is time to try and figure out how to get rid of it at every angle in order to come out of it as good as possible. You never know what can happen and I believe that you don’t want to give up on any kind of criminal defense case until it’s over. Just walking in there with your head down and ready to give up is absolutely the wrong thing to do.
Common Client Mistakes Detrimental to a Favorable Resolution in a Pending Case
Interviewer: What are the mistakes that people make during their pending case?
Paul Tafelski: The most common mistake is where somebody thinks, “If I cooperate with the police, if I tell them the truth, maybe they’ll let me go and be nice and give me a break.” 20 years ago, it might have been that way. Nowadays, the cops they really don’t have the authority to give people breaks like that. You end up just confessing to the crime and giving them their case with a bow on it. Even when that’s the case, the mistake people make is what we just talked about- wanting to give up and feeling like it’s hopeless. There’s a lot of things that can still be done to try and turn the opinion of you from negative to positive in their eyes. It makes a big difference in a final charge and in the type of probation you get and whether you get jail time or not, as well as in what ends up being on your record.
The Difficult Aspects Of Dealing With A Theft Charge In Michigan
Interviewer: What would you say as an attorney that is the most difficult thing for you to deal with when it comes to theft charges?
Paul Tafelski: There’s not one thing in particular. It just depends on the case, on the charge, on the individual client and what their fears and concerns are. A lot of times one of the more difficult things is that the person who is the victim of the crime is very angry and will actively work against the defendant to try and get them more severely punished. A lot of times they ask to add a factor that we don’t have in many other criminal cases. We have to get the court to overlook that person and not give too much weight to what they’re saying, and give more weight to what we’re saying.