Robbery Lawyer Farjoud Law
What is Robbery?
The criminal offence of robbery is defined in the Criminal Code of Canada under Section 343. This Section states a Robbery can be committed by someone in one of four of the following ways:
Steal and use violence or threats of violence for purpose of stealing.
Steal or use violence before or after theft, but need not show for the purpose of stealing.
Assault with intent to steal.
Steal while armed with a weapon or imitation weapon.
In addition to being charged with robbery, in some situations, a person could be charged with other criminal offenses, such as assault, assault with a weapon, or aggravated assault.
The criminal offence of robbery is an indictable offence. If a person is convicted and found guilty of the offence, the minimum and maximum penalties are often based upon whether a firearm or other weapon was used during the commission of the crime.
Section 344 of the Criminal Code of Canada states the following, in regards to punishments for robbery offences:
Every person who commits robbery is guilty of an indictable offence and liable:
A. If a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the robbery or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
In the case of a first offence, five years, and
In the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;
B. In any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
C In any other case, to imprisonment for life.
For the purpose of firearms and weapons, they are not limited to actual firearms, knives, and other such items. The law can define a weapon as any object if it used to threaten or harm another, such as, tire irons, golf clubs, articles of clothing and apparel, paper weights, and so on.
Are robbery and theft considered the same criminal offences?
No. While theft does involve the taking of property from another, it is typically done without the knowledge of the other person or while not in their presence. With robbery, the person is present while the crime is being committed, and they are being threatened with violence or actual violence is being used against them.
Is robbery limited to stealing from banks or businesses?
No. Even though most people might associate robbery with stealing from a convenience store or robbing a bank, a person can be charged with robbery for stealing property from individuals, too. For instance, you forcefully take another person’s wallet or purse.
Can one be charged with robbery when stealing from family or friends?
Yes. One can be charged with robbery if they stole property from friends or family members and either threatened to use violence or used violence against them in order to steal the property.
Will a robbery offence be dropped if I return the money or property?
No. It is up to the Crown’s lawyers to determine how the case will proceed. Since the threat of or actual use of violence is present with robbery offences, returning the money or property does not excuse this behaviour. As such, the Crown could still decide to proceed with the case.
However, by offering to return the money or property, it can be beneficial for your case and could potentially reduce the severity of the punishment you could face, if convicted and found guilty of the offence. Before offering to return money or property, it is in your best interests to consult with a criminal defence lawyer in North York, Toronto first to discuss how this could impact your case.
What if I was with a friend, who committed the actual robbery, can I be charged?
It depends upon the circumstances of the case. If you had prior knowledge they were going to commit the crime, you could be charged as an accessory. On the other hand, if you did not have prior knowledge, as long as you did not assist your friend in any manner, like helping them flee and escape after committing the crime, then there is the possibility you would not be charged, so long as you cooperated with the police and Crown.
Please note that this article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. In order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests, please consult a criminal defence lawyer prior to acting or relying upon any information.