If you have been charged with robbery, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of robbery, they must satisfy four elements of the offence. They can be found in s 75 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:
- The accused committed theft, and
- Immediately before or at the time, the accused either:
- Used force on any person; or
- Put any person in fear that they or another person would be subject to the use of force, then and there; or
- Sought to put any person in fear that they or another person would be subject to force, then and there; and
- The accused did so immediately before or at the time of stealing
- The accused did so in order to commit a theft.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for robbery will usually be heard in the Magistrates’ Court. However, depending on the circumstances of the offence, the case may be heard in the County Court. As the sentence options vary between the courts, expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of robbery.
It is unlikely that a charge for robbery will go to a trial with a jury; it will usually be heard by a Magistrate or Judge.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all four elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances surrounding the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument.
The maximum penalty this offence carries is 15 years imprisonment, known as a Level 4 imprisonment.
What sentences are usually given?
According to the Sentencing Council Victoria, between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 345 people were sentenced with robbery as the principal offence. From that number, 67% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 7 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 1.5 years.
Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (14.5%) and fines (1.2%).
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.