What is Robbery?
Robbery occurs when a person steals from another person using violence or threatening to use violence against that person or his or her property. Robbery also occurs when a person steals from another person while using a weapon or an imitation of a weapon. Finally, a robbery also occurs where a person assaults someone with the intent of stealing from them.
How is Robbery Different from Theft?
The difference between a robbery and a theft is the use of a weapon, the element of violence or the threat of violence.
What are Defences to Robbery?
Identification can often be an issue in a robbery case. The Crown Attorney must prove all the element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt, including that it was you who committed the robbery. Identification will often be based on the victim’s testimony, however there are occasions were video surveillance may assist. As with any other offence, Charter violations could present a defence, such as the right to counsel and the right to a trial in a reasonable period of time. Although not necessarily a defence, you could be convicted of a lesser offence such as assault or theft. A conviction for assault or theft certainly would be better than a conviction for robbery.
What would Constitute Violence for a Robbery Charge?
The violence involved in a robbery can be as simple as an assault against the victim. Remember an assault does not need to cause any physical injury, it only requires the application of force or threatening the application of force without consent. Therefore, threatening to physically harm someone during the course of stealing something from that person will constitute the use of violence required for robbery.
What Does a Threat of Violence Mean?
The answer to this question is contextual and therefore will depend upon the facts of each individual case. Some factors the Court will consider are what words and gestures were used by the accused person, and whether the accused was wearing any unique clothing such as a mask.
What is the Penalty for Robbery?
Robbery is a very serious criminal offence and one which you can expect to receive a jail sentence if you are convicted. Generally, the starting point is anywhere from 2 to 3 years in jail, although there can be mitigating factors that reduce the length of the jail sentence. The maximum penalty for robbery is life imprisonment. There are also circumstances where a minimum jail sentence is imposed. For example, where a firearm was used during the robbery there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in jail.
Can I Get a Conditional Sentence?
No, a conditional sentence is not available if you are convicted of robbery. You must serve your sentence in a jail or penitentiary. A conditional sentence is a jail sentence that you serve in the community.
How can a Conviction for Robbery Affect Me?
If you are convicted for robbery:
- You may not be able to travel to other countries.
- You may lose your current job.
- You may not be able to get a job in a particular profession.
- You will have a criminal record.
- You will not be able to apply for a record suspension until 10 years after you have completed your sentence.
I have been Charged with Robbery, What do I do?
If you have been charged with robbery, you should contact a criminal defence lawyer immediately. Robbery is a very serious offence and one which can carry minimum jail sentences in some circumstances. Contact me right now if you have been charged with robbery.