Pennsylvania Robbery Laws
Robbery has been committed if during the commission of a theft, the defendant injures someone, threatens them with injury, commits any first or second degree felony, uses force (no matter how slight), or takes money from a financial institution by making a demand upon an employee of the institution. The key difference between robbery and theft under Pennsylvania robbery law is the use of some kind of force or the cause of some serious or additional harm in taking the property from someone.
A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he/she:
- inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;
- threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
- commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;
- inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury;
- physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight; or
- takes or removes the money of a financial institution 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.
Generally, the crime of robbery constitutes a third degree felony. This is punishable by up to seven years in prison. However, if during the commission of the crime, the defendant causes bodily injury to another person, the charge will be a second degree felony. This carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison. In the event that during the commission of the crime, the defendant seriously injures another person or puts them in fear of serious bodily injury, the crime constitutes a first degree felony. Also, if the defendant commits a robbery of a motor vehicle while another person was in lawful possession of the vehicle, this is also a first degree felony. This carries a sentence of up to twenty years in prison.