Robbery, unlike other forms of theft such as shoplifting, car theft or burglary, is inherently violent and is classified as a felony in New York. Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. In 2014, it is estimated that there were 354, 520 robberies committed in the United States.
The violence element of robbery can make it a difficult case to try. Jurors typically don’t react well to pictures of bruises (if actual violence was used) or the testimony of an alleged victim describing how the defendant held a knife to her throat during a robbery. Prosecutors will harp on this type of evidence to win the jury over. Skilled defense attorneys have the ability to neutralize some of this evidence and testimony in jurors’ minds, and to refocus them on the meaning of a fair trial. Remember, the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt rests solely with the government.
Robbery Defined in Syracuse
Robbery is forcible stealing. A person forcibly steals property and commits robbery when, in the course of committing a larceny, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person for the purpose of:
- Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property
- or to the retention thereof immediately after the taking; or
- Compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver up the property or to engage in other conduct which aids in the commission of the larceny.
Robbery in the third degree (PL 160.05) in Syracuse
A person is guilty of robbery in the third degree when he forcibly steals property. Robbery in the third degree is a Class D Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 7 years.
Robbery in the second degree (PL 160.10) in Syracuse
A person is guilty of robbery in the second degree when he forcibly steals property and when:
- He is aided by another person actually present; or
- In the course of the commission of the crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime:
- Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or
- Displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or
- The property is a motor vehicle ….
Robbery in the second degree is a Class C Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years.