In Canada, police reported approximately 21,000 robberies in 2014.
Robbery can mean everything from punching a person on the street and taking their wallet or cell phone, to robbing a taxi driver or storeowner, to a full-blown bank heist. Any theft or attempted theft, by way of assault may qualify for criminal robbery charges being brought against an individual in court.
What is Robbery?
Whenever force, or the threat of force, coincides with taking property or attempting to take property from another person, a robbery allegation can be made.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, one commits robbery in the following circumstances:
steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property;
steals from any person and, at the time he steals or immediately before or immediately thereafter, wounds, beats, strikes or uses any personal violence to that person;
assaults any person with intent to steal from him; or
steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation thereof
Given that robbery is deemed a violent offence, the Crown will often seek your detention pending trial if you are facing a robbery allegation. The Crown may also seek a custodial sentence.
Trial and Punishment
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, Robbery is deemed one of the more serious offences. Given that it is a straight indictable offence, you will have the right to a trial in the Superior Court of Justice, and you may exercise your right to be tried by a jury. If you are found guilty, the charge of Robbery is punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison.
If a firearm, or an imitation thereof is used in the commission of a Robbery, mandatory minimum sentences of incarceration are imposed should you be convicted.
There are many factors that will exacerbate the severity of a Robbery allegation, including, but not limited to, an offender's age and criminal record. Other factors are:
- The use of any weapons;
- The degree of violence used;
- Any injuries that were caused to the complainant;
- The vulnerability of the complainant;
- The value of the stolen property, etc.
Other Repercussions of a Robbery Conviction
A conviction resulting in jail time in a Robbery case is often just the tip of the iceberg. An individual charged will potentially face many other consequences, including:
- Job loss, or ineligibility to work in certain professional fields;
- Immigration issues;
- Travel limitations;
- Risk of being exposed publically through the media, etc.; and
- Embarrassment to family, friends, etc
If you or someone you know has been charged with Robbery, do not delay. Please call Caramanna, Friedberg LLP today at (416) 924-5969. We have represented countless cases of Robbery and have the experience, track record and expertise to ensure your representation is of the highest quality.