Michigan criminal defense attorney

Small Robbery Turned Felony Over $1.49 McDonald’s Pop

Small Robbery Turned Felony Over $1.49 McDonald’s Pop

Ever make a huge mistake and have no idea the massive consequences that might come? That is what happened to 18-year-old Cody Morris from Springdale, Arkansas.

Morris is facing felony charges for allegedly driving through a McDonald’s drive-through and ordering three large waters. He and the two other passengers parked the car, proceeded to walk inside the restaurant, dumped out the water, and filled the cups with pop.

The manager of the McDonald’s caught up to the men. The other two boys with Morris returned their stolen pops, but Morris took a different path. Morris refused to give the pop back. That is when the manager decided to stand behind the group’s car to prevent them from leaving.

According to WXYZ Detroit, the group’s car allegedly reversed into the McDonald’s manager and hit him.
The manager reached through the window to try to pull the keys from the ignition, and that is when the manager was hit a second time. The car managed to drive off, but the McDonald’s manager called the police.

Police found Morris’ car at a bowling alley where they arrested him on felony robbery charges. It might seem strange that a man would be charged with a felony for stealing pop that costs $1.49 and comes with free refills. What impacted the charges, like in many cases, are the circumstances that surround them. In this case, hitting the manager with his car twice elevated the charges.

Definition of Robbery

Like in many states, robbery is defined as theft or larceny of property or money through the offender’s use of physical force or fear against a victim. In the State of Michigan, when property or money is stolen with a value under $200, it is considered a misdemeanor.

However, the circumstances that surround a robbery can elevate the charges. For example, was a deadly weapon such a gun used? Did the victim surfer injury?

While burglary is stealing property or money, robbery almost always requires the presence of a victim who suffers actual injury or is threatened with harm. While every state defines robbery a little different, each state contains the same basic elements:

Robbery consists of the taking, with the intent to steal the personal property of another from his or her person or in their presence against his or her will by violence, intimidating or the threat of force.

When Robbery Becomes a Felony

Robbery is larceny that was achieved with violence or the threat of violence. That is where Cody Morris went wrong. Because he hit the McDonald’s manager with his car twice, his charge of stealing the pop from McDonald’s was coupled with violence. That took the charges from a burglary to a robbery; from a misdemeanor to a felony.

In Michigan, an unarmed robbery is a 15-year felony. When being charged with a crime like this, the prosecution has to prove without reasonable doubt that the defendant used force or violence against the victim, and the defendant did so while she or he was in the course of committing a larceny. That is including flight or attempted flight. That means that if Cody Morris had committed this act in Michigan, he could be facing up to 15 years in prison if proven guilty.

Seek Legal Help

If you, or someone you know has been charged with what you might feel as a small crime, it is still incredibly important to seek legal advice. Unknown and unaware circumstances can elevate the charges. What might have seemed like a small misdemeanor could easily turn into a felony. Having experienced legal help will make sure that you do not end up being charged and given unnecessary sentencing. Please call my office today.

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This article was published on: April 22, 2016 and was last modified April 22, 2016