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Robbery is an extremely serious charge under the Criminal Code. Robbery is a straight indictable offence that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Our Criminal Lawyer who has represented clients charged with all forms of robbery including: simple robbery, robbery while armed with an offensive weapon, and robbery with a firearm.
Robbery is a serious property offence that involves theft or an attempt of theft, coupled with violence or the threat of violence. It is the additional element of violence that separates this offence from that of theft.
Section 343 of the Criminal Code of Canada states the offence of robbery as follows:
(a) Steals from another while using violence or threats of violence towards them or their property;
(b) Assaults someone with intent to steal from them; or
(c) Steals from any person while armed with a real or imitation weapon.
The crimes of theft and robbery can easily be confused because both involve taking someone else’s money or property. However, while theft and robbery share some characteristics, the offenses are quite different.
Robbery differs from theft primarily in that it involves force or intimidation to take property from another person. It is the use of force that makes robbery, in most cases, the more serious crime.
Theft is taking something that doesn’t belong to you, but a robbery is taking something from a person and using force, or the threat of force, to do it. Robbery, like theft, involves taking someone’s property without the owner’s consent, but it has some elements that theft doesn’t require.
Typically, theft occurs when someone:
A robbery normally happens when someone takes money or property:
The offence of robbery is distinct from that of theft. In the case of robbery, a theft or attempted theft, as well as some form of violence or assaultive behaviour, is involved.
Burglary, at Common Law, was the trespassory breaking and entering of the dwelling of another at night with an intent to commit a felony therein. It is an offense against possession and habitation.
Burglary is typically defined as the unlawful entry into almost any structure (not just a home or business) with the intent to commit any crime inside (not just theft/larceny). No physical breaking and entering is required the offender may simply trespass through an open door. Unlike robbery, which involves use of force or fear to obtain another person’s property, there is usually no victim present during a burglary.
Robbery carries a maximum jail sentence of life in prison. In cases where a firearm is used during the robbery, there is a mandatory minimum punishment of four years in the penitentiary. Where the firearm used is an imitation weapon, the minimum punishment is one year in jail.If robbery is committed while using a firearm and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization, the convicted person will be subject to a maximum sentence of life in prison and to a minimum sentence of five years in prison for a first offence and seven years in prison for a second or subsequent offence.
Identification can often be an issue in a robbery case. The Crown Attorney must prove all the elements 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 where 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.
Defending robbery cases requires highly skilled criminal defence experts, as there is often a great deal of evidence to be considered, including DNA and fingerprint evidence, CCTV evidence and phone evidence. Our lawyers are renowned for their meticulous approach in producing a robust defence strategy. We painstakingly dissect every detail of the case to ensure we secure the best outcome possible for our clients.
If you are facing robbery charges, you should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your state’s specific laws regarding theft and robbery. Further, an attorney can determine if there are any defenses available to your case. Finally, an attorney can represent you in court at any necessary court hearings.
Pursuant to s. 344(1) of the Code, the maximum penalty for robbery is life imprisonment. There are minimum punishments prescribed where certain conditions are met. For instance, there is a minimum sentence of four years imprisonment if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence. Bodily harm is not a prerequisite to the offence, but punishments are more severe depending on whether there is physical injury (yes or not) to the victim. These harsh penalties make it imperative that you hire a first-rate criminal defense lawyer to defend such charges.
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