Many theft crimes are misdemeanors, however if you use any amount of force or threats of force against another person during the commission of the theft, you may be charged with the crime of robbery. Though there are three different degrees of robbery under Pennsylvania law, all three degrees are felony offenses with severe consequences. Robbery in Pennsylvania is a violent crime and is therefore taken very seriously. If you have been charged with any degree of robbery, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible for help.
The following are brief explanations about the three degrees of robbery and associated penalties:
- 3rd Degree Robbery = Physically removing or taking property from someone else by using any level of force. Even the slightest amount of force can elevate an act from theft to felony robbery. A 3rd degree robbery conviction can mean a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
- 2nd Degree Robbery = Inflicting any amount of bodily injury on another person or putting them in fear of any degree of injury during a theft. The bodily injury caused or threatened can be very slight and does not have to be serious injury. A 2nd degree robbery conviction carries a potential sentence of up to ten years in prison.
- 1st Degree Robbery = You may be charged with the highest degree of felony robbery if the prosecutor and police believe you did any of the following during the commission of an act of theft: 1) Threatened someone with serious bodily injury or intentionally caused them to fear such injury; 2) Actually caused serious bodily injury to someone; or 3) Threatened or actually committed another 1st or 2nd degree felony offense. 1st degree robbery convictions mean up to 20 years in prison.
The nature and length of your sentence will depend on the circumstances of your particular case and any previous robberies or other violent crimes on your record.
If you are charged with any robbery offense, you do not want to risk going to prison. Therefore, you should always contact a Philadelphia criminal & robbery defense lawyer at The Zeiger Firm at 215.546.0340 for help. Brian Zeiger has extensive experience defending criminal charges and will aggressively defend your charges.