The Elements of a Pennsylvania Robbery Case
Robbery is a specific type of theft. Whereas theft generally involves the taking of another person’s personal property without his or her permission, robbery adds the threat or actual use of force. Because of this, penalties for a conviction on robbery charges are almost always more severe than those for simple theft or larceny.
A first-degree robbery involves taking another person’s property through coercion or the threat of violence — including the use of a deadly weapon. Individuals convicted of this crime in Pennsylvania could face up to 20 years in prison.
One of the most common examples of first-degree robbery is an individual being held at gunpoint in a darkened alley and being forced to hand over a wallet. Even though no actual harm occurs in this scenario, the threat of harm from the brandished weapon and the fact that the wallet was on the person of the victim makes it a robbery.
Sometimes, the property doesn’t necessarily have to be on the victim’s person for it to constitute robbery. The property simply must have been taken close enough to the victim that he or she could have prevented the action were it not for the use of or threat of violence. An example of this situation would be an armed robber coming into a gas station and stealing money from a cash register or taking lottery tickets while threatening the store clerk with a weapon.
The value of the property stolen is not important in robbery cases. All that matters is that the property had some sort of value to the person who was robbed, whether it is monetary or sentimental. The property does not even have to have been stolen directly from its owner for the act to constitute robbery — just from someone who was in possession of the property at the time.
For more information on the elements of a typical robbery case, contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman. To get started, call us at 215-563-7100 or contact online.