Being accused or robbery in Pennsylvania is a very serious felony crime and can involve major consequences; being convicted of this crime will almost certainly lead to incarnation and loss of career and reputation. Therefore, if you or someone you know has been arrested for robbery, or is currently being investigated for robbery, you need advice from a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling robbery crimes. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kope & Associates will work hard to protect your rights and preserve your freedom.
The crime of robbery is distinguished from that of theft by the former's requirement of the use or threat of force. In the absence of force, however slight, or threat of injury, an unlawful taking from the person of another would constitute theft, not robbery.
Robbery and burglary also are separate and distinct offenses. Although theft may be involved in either, burglary is concerned primarily with entry into a building, while robbery is concerned primarily with the physical person of the victim.
The offense of robbery is graded as: (1) a felony of the first degree if the actor inflicts serious bodily injury upon another, threatens another with or intentionally puts another in fear of immediate serious bodily injury, or commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree; (2) a felony of the second degree if the actor inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts another in fear of immediate bodily injury; (3) a felony of the second degree if the person takes or removes money from a financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution, orally or in writing with intent to deprive the financial institution thereof; (4) a felony of the third degree if the actor physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight.
In dividing the degrees of robbery into gradations of possible violence and distinguishing between bodily injury and serious bodily injury, the legislature recognized that the amount of force used on, or threatened against, a robbery victim deserves separate treatment and penalty, with the actor's punishment proportional to the amount of violence used or threatened. The statute requires a jury to make a decision as to the degree of violence that the defendant intended or used in the commission of the crime.
A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he or she:
- inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;
- threatens another with or intentionally puts another in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
- commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;
- inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts another in fear of immediate bodily injury; and
- physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight.
The use of or threat of force, however slight, is an essential element of the crime. Robbery is complete if money or goods are taken in the presence of the owner by violence or by putting such person in fear of violence.
The crime of robbery must be accompanied by specific intent. In order to be guilty of the offense, a defendant must intend to commit the crime. Therefore, such defenses as duress or coercion may be viable with the type of crime.
Due to its serious nature, the crime of robbery will likely carry jail time, ranging from a relatively minor period of incarceration to a very significant one. It is, therefore, imperative to hire an experienced defense attorney who understands the crime of robbery and how to defend against it. The experienced defense attorneys at Kope and Associates understand the intricacies of robbery and the various defenses to this crime. These knowledgeable attorneys will look at the evidence thoroughly to determine the best possible defense, including, but not limited to, issues involving identification, police misconduct and other suppression issues. The defense attorneys at Kope and Associates will use their knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue the best possible outcome by developing the strongest possible defense.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a burglary in Harrisburg, York or surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, please contact Kope and Associates as soon as possible for a free consultation. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.