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What is robbery?

Some might assume that robbery is just a generic name for stealing. However, it is actually its own specific type of crime.

Here in Missouri, the offense of robbery is when a person forcibly steals something and one of the following circumstances is present:

  • Physical injury is caused to another person.
  • Controlled substances are stolen from a pharmacy.
  • A dangerous instrument is used or is threatened to be immediately used against someone.
  • An object with the appearance of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon is displayed or threatened to be used.
  • One of the perpetrators has a deadly weapon.

Robbery is a felony crime in Missouri. When a person is facing robbery allegations in the state, the severity of the allegations against them depends on which of the above special circumstances it is claimed the alleged robbery involved. This is because robbery comes in two degrees in the state: first and second.

If a robbery just involved physical injury to another and none of the other above-mentioned circumstances, and that injury was not serious in nature, it is generally second-degree robbery, a class B felony.

If, however, a robbery involved serious injury to another or any of the other special circumstances, it is typically first-degree robbery. As a class A felony offense, this degree of robbery carries harsher potential penalties.

What particular crime a person is being accused of, including what degree of the crime the accusations fall into if it is a crime with multiple degrees, has big ramifications in a criminal case. A robbery suspect being unclear on what the implications are of what they are being accused could lead to them not having all the relevant information they need when the time comes to make big decisions related to their defense. The nature and implications of the allegations in a case are among the many things skilled criminal defense attorneys can help provide clarity on for robbery suspects.

Sources: Missouri Revised Statutes, “Section 570.023.1 - Robbery in the first degree--penalty.,” Accessed May 23, 2017

Missouri Revised Statutes, “Section 570.025.1 - Robbery in the second degree--penalty.,”Accessed May 23, 2017

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