robbery (law) | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction / Criminal Law

Robbery is the crime of taking property from a person through force or threat of force.

Robbery is a crime that involves taking or attempting to take property from another person by force, threat of force, or intimidation. The crime of robbery has its roots in common law, but it has evolved over time and has been modified by statutes in many jurisdictions.

Under common law, robbery was defined as the “felonious taking of personal property from the person of another, or in his presence, against his will, by violence or putting him in fear.” This definition includes three elements: the taking of personal property from the person or presence of the victim and by means of force or fear. In order to be convicted of robbery, the prosecution must prove that all three of these elements were present. The use of force or fear must also be present at the time of the taking, not just during the planning stages.

The Model Penal Code, on the other hand, defines robbery as “the theft of property from a person or in the person’s presence, by using force, threats or intimidation.” This definition is similar to the common law definition, but it does not require that force or fear be used against the person or in their presence at the time of the taking. The MPC also does not require that the taking be accomplished by violence, which is a more narrow requirement than the use of force, threats, or intimidation.

Under the MPC, robbery is classified as a second-degree felony unless the robbery involves the use of deadly force, in which case it is a first-degree felony. The punishment for robbery varies by jurisdiction but generally includes imprisonment, fines, and restitution to the victim.

Robbery is a serious crime that can have lasting consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. Victims of robbery may suffer physical and emotional harm and may also experience financial losses. Perpetrators of robbery may face criminal prosecution, which can result in imprisonment, fines, and other penalties. I

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Last Modified: 04/10/2023


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