ROBBERY IN PENNSYLVANIA – 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701
ROBBERY IN PENNSYLVANIA – 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701
Robbery is a two-act offense. It requires and assault (an unauthorized physical threat or touching of another person) that is committed to perpetrate (or attempt) or to complete (during flight) a theft offense.
In Pennsylvania, there are six (6) distinct versions of robbery. A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, they:
(i.) inflict serious bodily injury upon another;
(ii.) threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
(iii.) commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;
(iv.) inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury;
(v.) physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight; or
(vi.) takes or removes the money of a financial institution (bank, trust company, credit union) without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof.
Grading and Offense Gravity Score
In Pennsylvania, robbery is always a felony offense; however, the grading of the felony depends the facts of the case and on how the offense is charged.
Like any criminal case, the range of punishment relevant to a robbery offense is dependent on two factors, the offense gravity score (“OGS”) [the vertical axis] and the accused’s prior record score (“PRS”) [the horizontal axis]. The standard sentencing range is determined by finding where an accused’s PRS and OGS of the offense at issue meet on the basic sentencing matrix.
Every crime in Pennsylvania is assigned an OGS by statute. In PA, the OGS range is from 1 (less serious offenses) to 14 (most troubling offenses). There are eight PRS categories in Pennsylvania. The PRS categories are 0 to 5, repeat felon and repeat violent offender. The rules on calculating an accused’s prior record score are very complicated and a full discussion on the issue is well beyond the scope of this article.
In the chart below, the standard range penalties shown are for an offender with a prior record score of 1. The ranges shown refer to months of incarceration.
Deadly Weapon Enhancement
If a deadly weapon (firearm, knife, blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, etc.) is used or possessed during the commission of robbery, the sentencing court must apply the suitable (Possessed or Used) sentencing range listed in the deadly weapon enhancement sentencing matrix.
Consequences of a Robbery Conviction
The consequences of a robbery conviction in PA include jail time (typically a state sentence), prolonged probation / parole supervision, expensive fines, and restitution.
A robbery conviction may also prevent a person from gaining employment, keeping a job, or participating in certain education / training programs. A robbery conviction disqualifies one from owning and/or possessing a firearm. If an offender is not a United States citizen, a robbery conviction may also lead to deportation.
Ineligible for Special Programs
Moreover, because robbery is considered a “personal injury crime” by the Crime Victims Act, a robbery conviction will likely disqualify an offender from participating in sentencing alternatives and/or certain programing such as the RRRI Program, County Intermediate Punishment, State Intermediate Punishment and/or State Motivational Boot Camp (subsections (i), (ii), (iii) and 18 Pa.C.S. § 3702 relating to robbery of a motor vehicle).
An Experienced PA Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery in PA it is extremely important to timely hire an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney because these cases are complex and the accused’s freedom and other important rights are at risk.
When choosing a lawyer, it is important that to seek the services of a lawyer that primarily practices criminal defense and that the lawyer has personally handled felony cases in the county where the robbery charge is being prosecuted. Likewise, it is vital that the lawyer understands and can conduct a full investigation into the facts and circumstances of the allegation.
An experienced defense lawyer can effectively challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence by various means, including: the identity if the accused, their intent, and the proper grading of the offense. Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer, as soon as possible, can help the accused build their case by gathering the evidence to build a defense. It is the best chance for an accused to preserve their legal rights, as well as their liberty.
Contact Lampman Law to Defend Robbery Charges
I am eager to help you defend your robbery case and I am confident that I will help you resolve these charges in a positive manner, so you can move forward with your life. If you decide to hire me I will carefully listen to your side of the story, personally answer your calls, return calls promptly, and will personally handle all aspects of your robbery case with careful attention to every detail.
Please contact me at 570-371-3737 if you have any questions. I would like to discuss your robbery case with you and meet you in person. I offer a free consultation and can visit you upon your request. My fees for robbery cases are very reasonable and payment plans (including credit card payment) can be arranged.