Have you been charged with robbery? If you are found guilty of this serious and wide-ranging offence, the maximum sentence can be life imprisonment. At Lawtons we have a team of specialist solicitors who are experienced in all cases of robbery.

If you are facing a robbery charge and want expert legal advice then it is crucial that you contact Lawtons today on 0333 577 0522, for legal assistance that can help to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

 

What is robbery under UK law?

An offence under the Theft Act 1968, the criminal act of robbery means a theft using force – or a threat to use force with the intention to steal.

To be successfully prosecuted as robbery, any element of force must be shown to be associated with the theft.

Many offences can be classed as robbery, including:

  • Street robberies
  • Muggings
  • Commercial robberies
  • Vehicle theft
  • Carjacking
  • Bank robberies

Armed robbery is a term used to describe a robbery which involves the use of a weapon such as a firearm.

 

What is the maximum sentence for robbery?

The maximum sentence for robbery in the UK is life imprisonment, however the court will consider a number of options before the appropriate sentence is decided. The court will also consider whether the offender should be classified as a ‘dangerous’ person.

Robbery is an indictable-only offence and as such can only be heard in the Crown Court in front of a judge and jury. 

If the offender is a youth, the offence can be heard in the youth court. However, if the court decides that the case is grave and serious enough then it will be sent to the Crown Court. This will only happen if the youth court perceives a real risk that a custodial sentence of youth detention longer than two years is necessary as a punishment.

 

What are the different levels of sentencing for armed robbery?

A Crown Court judge will use three levels of severity when deciding upon a sentence for robbery:

  • Level one – robbery using minimal force
  • Level two – robbery using a weapon
  • Level three – robbery using a weapon with considerable force which causes injury

The court will also consider certain factors which, if present in the robbery, will increase the severity of the sentence:

  • If the victim was vulnerable
  • If a number of people were involved 
  • If the defendant was the primary leader in the robbery
  • If high value items were stolen
  • If the offence took place at night
  • If the defendant was wearing a disguise

Factors which reduce the severity of the offence will also be taken into consideration, including:

  • Whether the offence was opportunistic
  • Whether the defendant had a minor involvement in the offence
  • If any property stolen was voluntarily returned

 

What should you do if you are accused of robbery?

If you are accused of robbery it is crucial that you seek urgent specialist legal advice as soon as you are able to do so. This is a complex area of the law with severe associated penalties, so expert representation is essential, particularly prior to a police interview or if the case is going to court.

For more information or to discuss an individual case with our team of specialist solicitors, please get in touch today or call us on 0333 577 0522.

 

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Q&As

 

What is the difference between theft, robbery and burglary?

Theft refers simply to the unlawful taking of property belonging to another individual, and burglary refers to unlawful entry into a property, often with the intention of committing theft or robbery. What differentiates robbery from these two offences is the use of threat or force.

 

What is the sentence for armed robbery in the UK?

Armed robbery will be charged with a more severe sentence than robbery without a weapon. The maximum possible sentence is life imprisonment but this depends on a number of factors.