Arrested for Robbery or Armed Robbery?
A person is guilty of robbery if he steals and immediately before or during he uses force or threatens to use force. Robbery can include the use of a weapon to threaten a victim.
Robbery generally falls into three categories.
* Street Robbery or Mugging is a low level type of crime, often committed by youths or people with drug dependancies. Money or other valuables such as a mobile phone are often demanded.
* Robberies of small businesses. These may involve one or two people, and might include a petrol station etc.
* Commercial robberies. These robberies vary from a security van robbery type offence, to well prepared and professional bank robberies committed by intelligent and experienced organised criminals.
Sentencing for Robbery
Obviously, armed robbery (i.e. with a weapon) tends to attract a more serious penalty than robbery with no weapon, but in fact judges use 3 levels of seriousness when deciding how to sentence.
“Level 1” seriousness is for a robbery with minimal force.
“Level 2” seriousness involves the use of a weapon.
“Level 3” Seriousness involves use of a weapon and a lot of force or serious injury.
Certain factors will increase the level of seriousness for the defendant.
* A vulnerable victim.
* A large number of people involved in the offence.
* Being a leader in the robbery.
* A high value of items taken.
* An offence at night.
* Offenders wearing a disguise.
Other factors that often decrease the level of seriousness and therefore the sentence include:
* The offence being unplanned/opportunistic.
* The defendant having only minor involvement in the offence.
* Voluntary return of property that was taken.
The Law on Robbery
This offence is governed by the Theft Act 1968.
This offence must be heard at a Crown Court before a judge and jury. The first hearing is at the Magistrates Court, before the case is sent directly to the Crown Court.
On conviction, this offence carries a maximum of life imprisonment, and sentences starting at 4 -5 years are common.