Accused of Robbery? Contact a Pittsburgh Robbery Defense Attorney Today
Robbery – as with other theft-related offenses – is a crime with severe penalties, depending on the nature of the robbery and the conduct therein. If you’ve been charged with robbery, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the prospect of litigation. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that prosecutors tend to be quite aggressive in pursuing those who have allegedly engaged in a robbery (as it is categorized as a violent crime).
Quite simply: the stakes are high. You’ll have to put forth your best effort if you hope to avoid criminal liability. McKinney Law can help.
We have extensive experience navigating through the complexities of criminal litigation, including disputes that involve theft and robbery offenses. Our team understands the strategies employed by prosecutors and how to best undermine and overcome their arguments.
It is our belief that an effective defense requires close, personalized engagement with the client. We work closely with defendants to ensure that our advocacy is tailored to the particularities of their case. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can represent you in upcoming criminal litigation, contact a Pittsburgh robbery defense attorney at the firm today to schedule a free consultation.
What Conduct Qualifies as Robbery in Pennsylvania?
Unlike a “standard” theft offense, robbery is a violent crime. It’s worth noting, however, that the violence does not have to be actuated – a threat of violence will suffice.
Section 3701 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes describes the offense and the gradations thereof.
A person will be found guilty of robbery graded as a first-degree felony if, in the course of committing a theft, they:
- Inflict serious bodily injury upon another;
- Threaten another with or intentionally put him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury; or
- Commit or threaten immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree.
Any robbery involving the theft of a controlled substance or designer drug will be prosecuted as a first-degree felony.
A person will be found guilty of robbery graded as a second-degree felony if, in the course of committing a theft, they:
- Inflict bodily injury upon another or threaten another with or intentionally put him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Take or remove the money of a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof.
A person will be found guilty of robbery graded as a third-degree felony if, in the course of committing a theft, they:
- Physically take or remove property from the person of anther by force, however slight.
In Pennsylvania, first-degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines.
Underlying Theft is Necessary for Conviction
If you have been charged with robbery, it’s important to note that you cannot be held responsible unless the prosecution can show that you were in the course of committing a theft while the robbery-related conduct occurred. By establishing that the underlying “offense” was not actually theft, you can escape liability for robbery and thereby reduce or avoid criminal penalties altogether.
For example, suppose that the victim borrowed an item from you. Instead of returning it on time, they delayed and forced you to go without your item for an extended period. In anger, you threatened to seriously hurt them unless they returned your item. As you were the actual owner of the item at issue (and therefore authorized to take control of it), the underlying offense is not theft. You cannot be held responsible for robbery.
Contact an Experienced Pittsburgh Robbery Defense Attorney at McKinney Law for a Free Consultation
Ready to speak to a qualified attorney about your robbery case? We encourage you to get in touch with McKinney Law today. Call (412) 520-3301 or submit an online case evaluation form through our website to schedule a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh robbery defense attorney.