Robbery is a serious criminal offence and should never be taken lightly. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, in order for one to be charged with robbery, there must be two key elements present at the time of the crime:
- The accused used the threat of force or force with a weapon.
- The property was stolen with the consent of the owner.
As you can see from these two key elements, they share similarities with other types of crimes, such as assault with a weapon and theft. However, when both are committed simultaneously, the accused if typically charged with robbery, so long as there is sufficient evidence.
The Criminal Code has four different definitions regarding the ways in which one could commit and be charged for robbery. The Crown will first apply the two key element test, and then use one of the following to determine the actual charges to bring against the accused.
- Assault with the Intention to Steal
- Theft while Armed with a Weapon
- Personal Violence Near or At the Time of the Theft
- Violence to Overcome or Extort Resistance
In the event the Crown is not able to establish both key elements were present simultaneously during the commission of the crime, the Crown could still seek to file other types of criminal charges against the accused.
What Is Considered the Use of Force/Threat of Force?
The uttering of threats to inflict bodily harm with an object that is perceived as a weapon is considered a threat of force. If the weapon is used, then it is considered the use of force, regardless of the actual injuries the victim experiences. In other words, the victim does not have to be maimed, wounded, or disfigured and could only sustain short-term injuries.
What Is Considered Property?
The general definition of property is anything of value owned by another or placed in the care of another by the owner – the owner’s agent. For instance, cashiers at retail stores are considered owner’s agents.
Consequences of Robbery
If you are convicted and found guilty of robbery, the consequences are serious, with a maximum of life in prison. Due to the seriousness of this crime, it is in your interests to retain knowledgeable Toronto robbery lawyer Rishma Gupta if you want the best possible outcome to your charges. Call Ms. Gupta today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation to determine potential defence strategies.