Robbery, Mugging, Armed Robbery
Robbery can be one of the most serious offences in English criminal law, as it involves serious issues of violence as well as dishonesty. It is defined in section 8 of the theft Act 1968.
If you are accused of robbery, the prosecution must prove that:
- You have stolen property belonging to another person, and in order to steal their property
- Either used unlawful violence against another person, or
- Caused another person to fear that unlawful violence would be used against them
It is not necessary for the person who had their property stolen to be the same person who had unlawful violence used against them. In other words, if you threaten to harm X unless Y gives you his wallet, you would still be guilty of robbing Y.
However, it is worth noting that if force is only used after the theft has taken place, this would not be robbery.
The offence of robbery is indictable only, meaning that for an adult it can only be dealt with in the Crown Court. The maximum sentence available to the Court is life imprisonment. The majority of robbery convictions result in immediate prison sentences, though there are certain circumstances that could allow a Judge to impose a Suspended Sentence Order.
There are many factors that can effect the seriousness fo a robbery allegation, such as the degree of violence used or threatened, whether a weapon was used, or whether the victim was especially vulnerable for any reason.
Assault with Intent to Rob
There is a related offence of assault with intent to rob. This is committed where an offender uses or threatens violence in order to steal property from another person, but does not succeed in taking property.
As with robbery, assault with intent to rob can only be heard by the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
If you have been accused of robbery or a similar offence, there is a real danger of receiving a prison sentence if convicted. Therefore it is important that you have expert advice from a specialist criminal defence lawyer. Contact us to see if we can help you find an experienced solicitor or barrister for your case.
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