Robbery & Theft Attorneys
The criminal offence of Robbery involves an allegation of a theft with force, the threat of force, or intimidation. The allegations may involve a simple purse snatch or a more serious home invasion. Robbery is a serious offence that will often result in a custodial sentence upon conviction.
At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers, we have a strong record of success in robbery cases as well as other criminal cases including murder charges.
Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, “success” may mean that the client is acquitted after the failure of the Prosecution to establish the identity of the perpetrator. In other cases, where identity can be established, success is measured in avoiding custody, or limiting custody.
The offence of robbery is committed when an individual steals and uses violence or threats of violence in order to steal the item. The offence of robbery can be committed in several ways. Section 343 of the Criminal Code of Canada contemplates four different ways in which robbery can be committed in Canada. Section 343 states: Every one commits robbery who:
|a)||steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property;|
|b)||steals from any person and, at the time he steals or immediately before or immediately thereafter, wounds, beats, strikes or uses any personal violence to that person;|
|c)||assaults any person with intent to steal from him; or|
|d)||steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation thereof.|
There is no minimum punishment for the offence of robbery or armed robbery. The maximum punishment is life imprisonment. Where a firearm is used during the commission of a robbery, the minimum sentence is four years imprisonment.
As with all criminal offences, the Crown Attorney must prove both that the accused was the one who acted (identity) and that the act was perpetrated (actusreus), and that it was intentional (mens rea). Under section 343(a), the Crown must prove that the accused person used violence or the threat of violence for the purpose of taking the stolen item or that the person used violence to prevent the victim from resisting the taking of the stolen item. The accused person does not need to use any significant force in order to commit a robbery. Even the threat of violence in combination with a theft, may constitute a robbery. Section 343(b) describes specific acts of violence, which will raise the offence of theft to robbery if the violence contemplated occurs close in time to the theft. An armed robbery is committed when an individual steals while armed with an offensive weapon or an imitation of an offensive weapon. “Offensive weapons” include, pellet guns, knives, baseball bats, and/or any other object which is converted into a weapon. It does not matter whether or not you intended to use the weapon; if it was in your possession at the time of the theft, you may still be convicted of “armed robbery”.
A criminal accusation of Robbery can be challenged on the basis that the Prosecution has failed prove that the defendant was the person who committed the robbery. There are several methods of casting doubt on the identification evidence. For instance, the defence may challenge the identification procedures followed by the police- the lack of a proper photo-lineup, or contamination where an eyewitness’ collaborates with other eyewitnesses. The defence may advance a defence of Alibi wherein we assert that the defendant could not have been the perpetrator because he was not in physical proximity to the crime scene at the time of the offence. Sometimes, the only evidence of identity may come from a co-accused who has obtained some advantage for his testimony. In such circumstances, we would ask the Judge to caution the jury that it can be unsafe to rely on the uncorroborated evidence of an unsavory accomplice. Often, the only evidence of a defendant’s complicity is a fingerprint left on an object at the crime scene. If the object is a fixture, then the defendant must have been physically present at the crime scene. If the fingerprint is located on a moveable object, then there may be a reasonable explanation for the fingerprint being moved to the crime scene without the actual presence of the defendant.
EXPERIENCED ROBBERY LAWYERS TORONTO
Robbery is a very serious allegation and defending a robbery charge may be very complicated. Make sure that if you are charged with such a serious offence, that you are represented by a skilled practitioner with significant experience in the criminal courts. At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers, we are experienced and skilled advocates. We defend criminal charges aggressively, and have a strong history of success. We make full answer and defence our highest priority!