West Chester

Robbery Lawyer

If you’ve been accused of hurting someone during a theft, you need an attorney that is experienced in robbery offenses. Robbery is a felony in Pennsylvania that involves using force, hurting someone, or threatening harm during the commission of a theft. It’s a violent crime that could land you in prison. It should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney with a history of successful results in robbery cases.

Michael J. Skinner is a strong advocate for those accused of a robbery in West Chester. He’ll gather and scrutinize all the available evidence, weigh all the facts, and leave no stone unturned in developing the strongest possible defense strategy. As a former prosecutor, he knows how prosecutors think and handle robbery charges in and around Chester County, PA. He knows what steps to take to pursue a dismissal, acquittal, or lenient sentence.

Call Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

Robbery in Pennsylvania

Under 18 P.S. §3701, robbery is a theft crime. Specifically, while during the commission of a theft, a person also:

  • Inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;
  • Threatens another with or intentionally puts them in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
  • Commits or threatens immediately to commit any first- or second-degree felony;
  • Inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts them in fear of immediate bodily injury;
  • Physically takes or removes property from another person by force however slight; or
  • Takes money from a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making an oral or written demand of an employee with the intent to deprive the financial institution.

Under Pennsylvania law, these actions can happen while attempting a theft or during the flight afterward.

Difference Between Robbery and Burglary

Robbery and burglary are two distinct crimes. Burglary constitutes a person entering a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. People often associate burglary with theft. However, theft is only one of many crimes the offender might intend to perpetrate inside the building.

Types & Degrees of Robbery Charges

Robbery is a felony, though the degree depends on the type of robbery.

If you allegedly physically took or removed property by force, even slight force, you’ll be charged with a felony in the third-degree. If you allegedly inflict bodily injury, intentionally put them in fear of immediate bodily injury, or took money from a financial institution, then you’ll be charged with a second-degree felony.

Any other circumstances of robbery is a first-degree felony.

Robbery of a Motor Vehicle

Robbery of a motor vehicle, also known as carjacking, constitutes stealing a motor vehicle from another person and in the presence of that person or another individual who has lawful possession of the vehicle. This is a first-degree felony under 18 P.S. §3702.

Armed Robbery

If you are accused of using or threatening to use a deadly weapon during a robbery, you face enhanced sentencing if convicted.

Armed robbery isn’t a separate offense. Instead, the presence of the deadly weapon, such as a firearm, knife, or another instrument that can be used to inflict serious bodily injury or death, means you face a longer term of imprisonment under the deadly weapon enhancement.

Penalties for Robbery in Chester County

Robbery can be charged as a first-, second-, or third-degree felony.

    Third-degree felony robbery – Up to seven years in prison and a maximum $15,000 fine.
  • Second-degree felony robbery – Up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
  • First-degree felony robbery – Up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

By partnering with a robbery defense lawyer, you improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case, whether that’s a dismissal, acquittal, or mitigating consequences. In some circumstances, a conviction is likely, but it’s still best to move forward with an attorney. An experienced defense lawyer can argue for a lenient sentence, limit evidence against you, and help you avoid the harshest possible consequences.

Defenses to Pennsylvania Robbery Charges

Because you face years or decades in prison, it’s important to hire a robbery defense lawyer to aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case. If you’ve been wrongfully accused and there’s little-to-no evidence against you, your attorney might work with the prosecutor to have the charges dropped or ask the judge to dismiss the case.

If the prosecutor has probable cause and is intent on moving forward, then your lawyer can prepare a vigorous defense in pursuit of an acquittal. Just because you have been charged does not mean you will be convicted.

Various defenses your robbery lawyer might use include:

  • Lack of Intent: Robbery must include the attempt or commission of a theft. Your attorney might demonstrate that at no time did you intend to deprive an owner of their money or property.
  • Lack of Force, Threats, or Harm: To reduce the level of the charge from a felony robbery to misdemeanor theft, your attorney might seek to show you did not use any amount force or threats and did not cause another individual harm.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Your lawyer might focus on the prosecution’s lack of evidence against you. There may be nothing that truly ties you to the crime.
  • Mistaken Identity: If the police apprehended the wrong person, your lawyer might demonstrate that you have an alibi for the time of the offense and could not have been the culprit.
  • Rightful Ownership: Your attorney might be able to show you were the rightful owner of the property and were reclaiming it from someone who was unlawfully keeping it.

Call a Robbery Defense Lawyer Today

Whether you’re being investigated or have been charged with felony robbery, it is best to hire a West Chester robbery attorney right away. Michael J. Skinner will protect your rights throughout the court process. He will scrutinize the evidence and charges against you, look for flaws in the prosecution’s case, and aggressively defend you in court.

Call Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 or contact us online if you are charged in or around Chester County, PA to set up your free initial consultation.