The Different Types of Robbery Charges in Pennsylvania

burglar or intruder inside of a house or office with flashlightRobbery is a serious criminal offense in Pennsylvania, carrying potentially life-altering repercussions. Due to the severity of robbery, it’s crucial to understand how Pennsylvania defines this act and what potential penalties may result from a conviction. If you or someone you know is facing robbery charges, immediate legal consultation from a criminal defense attorney in PA is indispensable

What is Robbery?

Robbery, according to the statutes in Pennsylvania, is a criminal act that involves forcibly taking property from another person, whether by threatening harm, employing intimidation tactics, or using direct physical force. This type of crime elevates beyond mere theft due to the involvement of force, making it a much more severe offense.

For example, even if someone snatches a bag from another person without causing physical harm, the act is still considered robbery because it involved force or the threat of force. The mandatory classification of all robbery charges as felonies in Pennsylvania underlines the state’s rigorous stance against such violent forms of theft, aiming to impose strict penalties on those who engage in this behavior.

Degrees of Robbery in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes provide a structured framework for understanding the various degrees of robbery, each defined by the severity of the act and the nature of the force or threat employed.

Robbery of the First Degree

Considered the most severe form of robbery, this charge is levied when the theft involves serious bodily injury to another, the threat of such injury, or the commission (or threat of commission) of another felony of the first or second degree along with the theft. According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1), first-degree robbery is a felony that can result in penalties of up to 20 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000, reflecting the significant harm or threat of harm associated with these actions.

Robbery of the Second Degree

Second-degree robbery is charged when the act results in bodily injury, the threat of bodily injury, or places the victim in fear of immediate bodily harm. As stipulated under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1), this degree of robbery carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This charge acknowledges the physical harm or intimidation involved, albeit to a lesser degree than that required for a first-degree charge.

Robbery of the Third Degree

The baseline charge for robbery, third-degree robbery involves the forceful taking or removal of property from another person or threatening them with force to secure their property. This is outlined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1), which states that third-degree robbery is punishable by up to 7 years in prison and fines up to $15,000. This charge applies to robbery instances where the use of force or threat is less severe than in first or second-degree charges but is still present and integral to the commission of the crime.

Legal Implications

These statutory distinctions serve to categorize robbery charges based on the severity of the offense and to prescribe corresponding penalties that reflect the seriousness of each degree. The gradation from first to third degree allows the legal system to tailor charges and penalties to the specifics of each case, ensuring that the punishment is commensurate with the nature of the crime committed. For those facing such charges, understanding these legal nuances is crucial, highlighting the importance of seeking competent Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers to navigate the complexities of Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system effectively.

Defending Yourself Against Robbery Charges

Because robbery charges can cause significant prison sentences and hefty fines, securing legal representation from a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in PA promptly is crucial. Your lawyer will meticulously review the details of your case to devise an effective defense strategy. Potential defenses in robbery cases may include mistaken identity, where you could be incorrectly identified as the culprit; lack of intent, proving the absence of any intention to commit theft; and false accusations, where the supposed victim might be alleging the crime out of personal vendettas or hidden agendas.

Protect Your Future with Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn, P.C.

Facing robbery charges can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful. An experienced criminal defense attorney from Engle Kauffman and VanHorn will fight for your rights throughout the legal process. We understand the severity of robbery charges and can advocate on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

We have comprehensive knowledge of Pennsylvania robbery laws, potential defenses, and can navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. If you or a loved one faces robbery charges, it’s essential to act quickly and seek professional legal counsel. Don’t wait if you’ve been accused of robbery. Schedule a consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Protecting your rights and future is our priority.