Robbery is one of the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Law. Criminal defense attorneys in New York see Robbery crimes come in a variety of different scenarios and allegations. Sometimes a weapon is used such as a firearm or a knife while other times a victim suffers some form of a physical or serious physical injury. Depending on whether or not there is an injury and even if multiple robbers are involved, the crime of Robbery can elevate from Robbery in the Third Degree to Robbery in the Second Degree or Robbery in the First Degree. The consequences are quite serious for an accused because a Third Degree Robbery conviction for PL 160.05 is not a violent crime under the New York Penal Law and does not carry a mandatory term of prison for a first time offender. Second Degree Robbery and First Degree Robbery, pursuant to PL 160.10 and PL 160.15 respectively, are mandatory minimum crimes with sentences starting at three and one half and five years in prison.
The goal of this blog entry is not to dissect and analyze the differences between New York’s Robbery statutes, but to examine the threshold of physical force that must be breached for a crime to go from one of a simple non-violent larceny to a more grave Robbery offense.