Chester County Robbery Attorneys
Pennsylvania Robbery and Armed Robbery
Where to Turn if You are Charged with Robbery or Armed Robbery in Pennsylvania
Both robbery and armed robbery are considered violent crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. Not only will you be labeled a felon, if convicted, you will be labeled a violent felon. It is extremely important that you realize just how high the stakes are should you be convicted of robbery or armed robbery. Further, while the offense of robbery is more or less the same across the nation, the penalties are far from the same. The state of Pennsylvania has particularly harsh penalties for robbery and armed robbery—penalties which will follow you for many years to come, likely de-railing your entire future.
The very best choice you can make following charges of robbery or armed robbery is a phone call to The Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our attorneys have helped people accused of robbery or armed robbery for nearly a quarter of a century. We understand that millions of dollars are spent in the state of Pennsylvania prosecuting cases just like yours. We are also fully aware how important it is to have a skilled Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney from the Ciccarelli Law Offices by your side as quickly as possible in order to lessen your potential penalties.
Defining Robbery and Armed Robbery
In the state of Pennsylvania, the crime of robbery means that not only are you committing a theft, by taking someone else’s property, you are doing so by force, or you seriously injure another person—or threaten to injure them while taking their property. To commit a robbery, you must be in course of committing, or are attempting to commit a theft, or fleeing after attempting or committing a theft. Even taking someone’s property by slight force, is considered a robbery. Armed robbery is defined as the use or the threat of use of a deadly weapon during the robbery.
Is Robbery a Felony in the State of Pennsylvania?
Any level of robbery is considered a felony in the state of Pennsylvania, meaning a conviction will result in prison time, not to mention thousands of dollars in court fines and fees. If you only use force, robbery is a felony of the third-degree. If you inflict an injury that is not serious during the robbery, you have committed a second-degree felony. If you caused another person serious bodily injury, or threatened to cause them serious bodily injury, or if you commit the crime of theft while committing another felony, you will be charged with a first-degree felony. If you are charged with armed robbery, you will face an automatic felony charge, and your sentence will depend on the circumstances surrounding your charges.
Penalties for a Robbery Conviction
If you are convicted of assaultive actions during an alleged theft, you could be charged with a first, second, or third-degree felony, depending on the level of harm you inflict. Taking money from a financial institution while using any level of force is considered a second-degree felony. A first-degree felony robbery conviction could result in up to 20 years in prison, and a fine as large as $50,000. A second-degree robbery conviction could result in up to 10 years in prison, and a third-degree robbery conviction could result in up to 7 years in prison. In other words, all robbery charges have the potential for prison time upon conviction, although whether you will receive prison time will depend on your criminal history, the evidence against you and the specific facts surrounding your case. Robbery could also be charged as a theft, a weapons charge, reckless endangerment, or receiving stolen property, according to the circumstances of your case.
Defenses to Pennsylvania Robbery Charges
Your Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will determine the best defense for you, based on the specific facts of your case, however he or she may argue:
- You did not commit robbery because you are the rightful owner of the property in question. If it can be shown that you are, in fact, the rightful owner, but you used force, or inflicted some level of bodily harm while taking your property back, you could still face charges for assault.
- You had no intent to commit the theft or to use force or threats during a felony.
- There is simply not enough evidence to prove your guilt.
- You were under duress—i.e. you were forced into committing the robbery and were in reasonable fear for your life if you refused.
- Actual innocence—you have been misidentified by a witness, or have an alibi for the time of the robbery.
- Intoxication—If you were intoxicated during the robbery, you could potentially use this fact as an affirmative defense to your robbery charges. Particularly if the intoxication resulted from actions outside your control, against your will or without your knowledge, your criminal behavior could be excused. Even if you were voluntarily intoxicated, you might be able to plead to a lesser charge.
- Entrapment—if you were “pushed” into committing a robbery that you would otherwise not have committed, you might be able to use an entrapment defense, although this type of defense is usually difficult to prove.
What to Do if You are Charged with Robbery or Armed Robbery
If you are charged with robbery or armed robbery in the state of Pennsylvania, you will probably be held overnight in jail. It is important that you not proclaim your innocence, discuss your actions, or even answer any questions asked by law enforcement until you have spoken to an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney. It is absolutely true that anything you say could be taken out of context and used to convict you.
Once you are out of jail, don’t discuss your case with anyone, and never, never post anything about your case on social media. An attorney from the Ciccarelli Law Offices will make every effort to discredit evidence which is not in your favor, so the sooner you make the call to our offices, the better your future will look. We want to help you through this difficult time, and will zealously represent you. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, success is our mission—we are driven to serve and ready to fight. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610)-692-8700.