Robbery Lawyer in Burlington

Burlington Criminal Lawyers

Robbery Lawyers in Burlington

What is the difference between Robbery and Theft?


Robbery is defined as the taking of another’s property by force or threat. It is sometimes also referred to as larceny by threat or force. Because robbery involves injury or the threat of injury, it is considered a more serious crime than many of the other theft crimes. According to common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear; that is, it is a larceny or theft accomplished by an assault. Precise definitions of the offence may vary between jurisdictions.

A criminal charge of robbery may be elevated from simple to aggravated robbery if a deadly weapon is brandished during the crime or if the victim suffers serious injury during the unlawful taking of the victim’s property.


Theft crimes are crimes that involve the unauthorized taking of the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Historically, theft involved three different categories of crime: larceny, embezzlement and false pretenses. In many provinces, when the value of the property taken is low (for example, less than $500) the crime is “petty theft” and a misdemeanor; but it is “grand theft” and a felony for larger amounts.

Theft is synonymous with “larceny.” Although robbery (taking by force), burglary (taking after entering unlawfully), and embezzlement (stealing from an employer) are all commonly thought of as theft, they are distinguished by the means and methods used, and are separately designated as specific types of crimes in criminal charges and statutory punishments.

Elements of Robbery

The crime of robbery involves

  • The accused took property from the individual or custody of the alleged victim.
  • Assault, violence, force or putting someone in imminent fear of harm was used during the taking of an alleged victim’s property.
  • The property taken was valuable.
  • The intent to deprive the alleged victim of his or her right to property.

Penalties for Robbery

All robberies are considered to be felonies, and therefore carry requisite penalties. The exact penalty that will be assigned depends on whether the robbery is classified as either first-degree or second-degree.

  • The offence of robbery is contained in s.8 of the Theft Act 1968. In criminal law, robbery is a form of aggravated theft, in that it involves the offence of theft plus force or threat of force on a person. The maximum sentence for robbery is life imprisonment.

  • Under s.8 of the Theft Act 1968 “a person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.”

Common defence for the charge of Robbery

Legal defenses may be claimed when facing charges of either burglary or robbery such as innocence, lack of intent and entrapment. First, defendants may claim that they are innocent of the crime. The prosecution bears the burden of proving that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They might argue that someone else committed the crime or that no crime was committed in the first place.

A defense attorney taking the position that no offense happened might claim that witnesses’ versions of events are untrue or that the client’s actions didn’t satisfy all the elements of the offense. It must be understood that the defense of necessity or duress is strictly and extremely limited in application and will probably be effective in very rare occasions. It is a defense and not a conjured afterthought. All the conditions must be met, and the court must find as a matter of Jaw that the evidence is sufficient to warrant an instruction on the affirmative defense of necessity or duress.

The prosecution must show several things.

  • First, the prosecutor must show that the victim was actually placed in fear of force or violence.
  • Second, the prosecutor must show that the victim’s fear was the result of the defendant’s threats.
  • Third, the prosecution must show that the victim’s fear was reasonable.

If no threat of violence was used during the crime, an attorney may be able to knock the charge down to a simple theft. Additionally, if the person committing the crime can prove that someone else forced them to commit the robbery, a defense of self defense or duress can be utilized.

Additional Enhancements to Robbery Charges

When someone has been convicted of a crime, the judge will look at the number of punishments allowed under the law and assign one of them depending on the nature of the crime and the past criminal record of the defendant.

As with most felonies, prosecuting attorneys often attempt to bring weapon enhancement on charges of robbery. For the crime of Robbery Second Degree, a deadly weapon enhancement brings an additional sentence of 12 months, and a firearm enhancement brings an additional sentence of 36 months.

Robbery is punishable by two to nine years in state prison per victim if there are no enhancements to the sentence.

Contact us Today. Your Life and Your Liberty Depend Upon It!

You should always talk to a lawyer in your area if you ever need legal advice or information about crimes or the criminal justice process. If you think you have committed a crime, are under investigation, or have been charged, you absolutely need to speak to a local criminal attorney as quickly as possible.

Armed robbery is a very serious felony. If you are facing this charge you will need a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will help explain your charges, the classification level of your felony, and any mitigating circumstances that are available to you.

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