Instances of robbery in the United States are quite common; in fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation notes that over 300 million of these crimes took place in 2017.
If you find yourself involved in a robbery charge, you may want to understand how first, second and third-degree levels of severity could define the crime and how the courts proceed with it.
This level of robbery is also called simple robbery because it is typically seen as the least violent. In a third-degree robbery, a certain degree of force or threats, with or without a weapon, is usually involved. Despite being the least serious of the degree types, if you are so charged, you may face up to ten years in prison.
Most second-degree robberies involve more than one person. For example, during the robbery of a business, there may be a lookout and a driver present. The degree of force used in the incident can also contribute to whether you might face these charges, including whether you used a weapon. The penalty for second-degree robbery in some states, including New York, is up to 15 years in prison.
This crime is also known as aggravated robbery and occurs when a bystander or victim is seriously hurt during the incident, such as with a weapon. Most carjackings of private or public vehicles are also first-degree robberies and while state laws vary, you could receive a 15 to 20-year jail sentence.
The severity of a robbery charge may also increase or decrease during the trial phase of the crime, depending on the evidence presented. However, you may also want to keep in mind that the definition of these crimes can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.