No matter how you do it, if you take someone else’s money or property without their knowledge or consent, you are committing a crime. From shoplifting to embezzlement to credit card fraud, there are many Pennsylvania theft-related charges which could result in hefty fines and time behind bars upon conviction. But if you commit a theft involving threats or the use of force, it constitutes robbery, a serious felony offense which can make your predicament even more serious.As robbery is treated as a violent crime, Pittsburgh prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions for those charged with any level of the offense. Accordingly, fighting robbery charges requires an equally aggressive defense.
At McKinney Law, our Pittsburgh robbery defense lawyers use every strategic weapon in our considerable arsenal to protect our clients’ rights and obtain a positive result. We understand how much is at stake when facing robbery charges, with the consequences of a conviction lasting long after you’ve paid any fines or served any time. We also know how scary the process can be, which is why we will be by your side, answering your questions and providing you with peace of mind, every step of the way.
What is Robbery?
The defining characteristic of robbery that distinguishes it from other theft crimes is the threat of or use of force. You can face felony robbery charges for the words you say when committing the theft and for even the slightest bit of physical force, regardless of whether injury was intended or inflicted.
Specifically, under 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3701, you could be convicted of robbery if, during the course of committing a theft, you do any of the following:
- inflict serious bodily injury upon another person;
- threaten another person or intentionally put him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
- commit or threaten immediately to commit any first or second degree felony;
- inflict bodily injury upon another person or threaten them with or intentionally put them in fear of immediate bodily injury;
- physically take or remove property from another person by force however slight; or
- take or remove the money of a financial institution without permission by making a demand of an employee orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution of money.
Penalties for Robbery
There are three separate grades of robbery offenses in Pennsylvania, with increasingly steep penalties. Which charge you will face depends on the nature of the threats or force used in the commission of the crime:
- 3rd Degree Robbery. The lowest level of robbery charge, 3rd degree robbery can still result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison upon conviction. This charge is usually brought for robberies such as pickpocketing or purse snatching which involve the “slight” force which can upgrade a theft charge to robbery.
- 2nd Degree Robbery. If you actually cause an injury, however slight, or put someone in fear of injury, you could be convicted of 2nd degree robbery and be sentenced to up to ten years behind bars.
- 1st Degree Robbery. When serious injuries or threats and fear of serious injuries occur during the theft or if the theft also involves the commission of another 1st or 2nd degree felony, it can constitute 1st degree robbery charge which can lead to up to 20 years in prison.
Tenacious Defense Against All Pittsburgh Robbery Charges
The road between an arrest for robbery and a conviction is a long one. A skilled defense attorney can challenge prosecutors at every turn, attacking the propriety of the arrest, challenging the credibility of witnesses, and seeking the exclusion of improper of evidence.
When prosecutors face the Pittsburgh robbery defense attorneys of McKinney Law, they know they are in for a fight. While we will explore every avenue to find the best possible resolution of charges, including negotiating plea agreements where appropriate, we are always ready to matters to trial.
Our tenacity, determination, and skill have earned us a reputation as defense attorneys to be reckoned with. Our 24/7 accessibility, responsiveness, and understanding have earned us the trust of those facing all kinds of criminal charges. If you are facing robbery charges in or around Pittsburgh, please call us at (412) 520-3301 to arrange for your free initial consultation.