What is Robbery?
According to RCW §9A.56.190, a robbery occurs when a person unlawfully takes personal property from another person or in his presence against his will by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury to that person, his property or a third person or the third person's property. There are two types of robbery in the State of Washington: robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree.
Robbery in the First Degree:
According to RCW §9A.56.200, a person commits robbery in the first degree if:
- In the commission of a robbery he:
- Is armed with a deadly weapon;
- Displays what appears to be a deadly weapon; or
- Inflicts bodily injury on a person.
- Commits a robbery in and against a financial institution.
Penalties for Robbery in the First Degree in Washington:
Robbery in the first degree is considered a class A felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison, a maximum fine of $50,000, or both. The court may require restitution instead of a fine.
Robbery in the Second Degree:
According to RCW §9A.56.210, a person commits robbery in the second degree if he commits a robbery not involving a deadly weapon or injury to another.
Penalties for Robbery in the Second Degree in Washington:
Robbery in the second degree is a class B felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both. The court may require restitution instead of a fine.
Defending a Robbery Charge:
There are a number of ways to defend a robbery charge. One strategy is to challenge the elements required for the offense. For example, you may argue that you you obtained property, but that you did not use force or threaten to use force in order to obtain it. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.