In New York, robberies are called “forcible larcenies.” Robbery, defined in Section 160.00, now requires a forcible stealing when, in the course of committing a larceny, the actor 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 of the property immediately after the taking; or
- Compelling the owner of the property or another person to deliver the property or to engage in conduct that otherwise aid in committing the larceny.
Given the high risk involved with a burglary charge, it is important to seek experienced counsel if you are the subject of an investigation or are detained by law enforcement.
In cases of a strong arm robbery, ancillary crimes may include assault, battery or firearms or related weapons charges. In cases of robbery relying on deception, the offender may be subject to fraud charges.
Schemes related to robbery can involve sophisticated criminal networks obtaining large sums of money or an individual acting alone on a smaller scale offenses.
Robbery may involve a number of violent crimes such as assault, battery, weapons charges, or may involve crimes which fall under the category of fraud.
Robbery in the third degree, Section 160.05, is the forcible stealing of property and is a basic element to all robberies. Robbery in the third degree is a class D felony. Robbery in the first degree is charged when serious physical injury results, and a dangerous instrument is used or threatened on the victim. Subsection (4) indicates that the display of a weapon that turns out to be unloaded is an affirmative defense to first degree robbery. However, displaying an unloaded weapon will not relieve the offender from being convicted of second or third degree robbery. According to Section 160.10, Robbery in the second degree: 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 consists of a motor vehicle (i.e., vehicle operated upon a public highway, snowmobile, all terrain vehicle, but not a motorcycle). Robbery in the second degree is a class C felony.
According to Section 160.15, Robbery in the first degree: A person is guilty of robbery in the first degree when he forcibly steals property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime:
- Causes serious physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or
- Is armed with a deadly weapon; or
- Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or
- Displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision, it is an affirmative defense that such pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm was not a loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, could be discharged.
Nothing contained in this subdivision shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, robbery in the second degree, robbery in the third degree or any other crime. Robbery in the first degree is a class B felony.
Robbery in the First Degree is a class B violent felony in New York. This is the most serious form of robbery and it carries a 25 year maximum prison term upon conviction and a five year mandatory minimum for someone with no criminal record. Robbery in the First Degree includes what most people imagine when they think of robberies: a gunpoint robbery of a store clerk or bank teller. Robbery in the Second Degree is a class C violent felony. This is the second most serious form of robbery and it carries a 15 year maximum prison term upon conviction. Robbery in the Second Degree might be called “group robbery” because its most frequent form comes when multiple people work together to commit a robbery. Robbery in the Third Degree is a class D non-violent felony. This is the least serious form of robbery in New York, although it still carries a maximum of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison upon conviction.
Defending a robbery charge often involves a strategy of attempting to counter the use of or threat of force element. This can hinge on testimony from the alleged victim regarding whether or not credible threats or use of force was used. In this case, the charge could be amended to a form of larceny.
Robbery is generally governed by State law, however robberies that involve articles in the stream of interstate commerce can trigger Federal jurisdiction such as hijacking a truck full of goods being shipped from one state to another or bank robbery.
A 2013 New York Times article chronicled a sophisticated robbery scheme, which netted the suspects over $45M with $2.5M being taken from ATMS in New York City alone. The scheme involved hacking an manipulating banks cards to allow for increased withdrawals and a ring of suspects worldwide engaging in a coordinated withdrawal of money from ATMs over a period of 10 hours. Presently, some of suspects have been indicted in Federal Court while some of the co conspirators remain at large.