Armed Robbery Lawyers in Melbourne - Robbery Charges & Offences
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Accused of robbery? You need an experienced criminal lawyer on your side
If you are facing robbery or armed robbery charges, you should seek immediate advice from a criminal defence lawyer.
We represent clients facing all sorts of theft offences and ensure that they receive the best legal advice and representation. As robbery and armed robbery are very serious charges with hefty maximum penalties involving imprisonment, you'll want to have criminal law experts on your side. We can help you navigate the legal process, tell your side of the story and get the best outcome possible.
Need legal advice now? Call 03 8590 8370 to book your free consultation with a robbery lawyer in Melbourne today!
What are robbery offences?
Robbery offences mainly include robbery and armed robbery. The Crimes Act 1958 defines robbery as follows:
"A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear that he or another person will be then and there subjected to force."
Armed robbery involves the use of a firearm, imitation firearm, offensive weapon, explosive or imitation explosive.
What is the difference between theft, burglary and robbery?
Theft, burglary and robbery offences are outlined in the Crimes Act 1958. All involve stealing property, though in different circumstances.
Theft refers to "dishonestly appropriate[ing] property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it", while burglary involved entering "any building or part of a building as a trespasser with intent—
(a) to steal anything in the building or part in question; or
(b) to commit an offence—
(i) involving an assault to a person in the building or part in question; or
(ii) involving any damage to the building or to property in the building or part in question."
This does not only apply to buildings; if a person enters an inhabited vehicle or any other vessel (whether or not the other party is present at the time), they can be charged with burglary.
Robbery is the most serious theft offence and involves stealing something through the use of force or by placing a person in fear of force. It does not matter if actual violence was committed if the alleged victim truly believed that they could have been harmed.
Other theft/burglary/robbery charges
There are a few other indictable and summary offences that fall under this area of the law:
- Possessing Housebreaking Implements
- Theft of a Firearm
- Carjacking or Aggravated Carjacking
- Going Equipped for Stealing
Want more information about the charges against you? Speak to a criminal defence lawyer from our team.
How serious are robbery charges?
If found guilty, the maximum sentence for a robbery charge is 15 years imprisonment. For an armed robbery offence, the maximum penalty increases to 25 years imprisonment.
There are a number of aggravating factors that may influence the sentence you receive, including:
- The value of the stolen goods
- Whether you acted alone or were accompanied by one or more people
- Whether a victim was injured as a result of the theft
Where will my case be heard?
As robbery is an indictable offence, your case will be heard in the County Court or Supreme Court, depending on the severity of the charges and the value of the property stolen. In certain circumstances, a lesser offence may be heard in the Magistrates Court.
If you are a minor who is faced with theft charges, your case will most likely be heard in the Children's Court. In general, offences committed by juveniles are considered less serious and incur a lighter maximum penalty.
Do I have a criminal defence?
There are a number of defences for robbery charges that we may choose to explore. These can include the following:
- You were forced to commit the offence under duress
- You had an honest belief that you were entitled to the property or that you had the owner’s consent
- You never intended to steal or commit an offence involving assault
The best defence will depend on your situation, which is why our criminal lawyers explore every aspect of your case to make sure that all relevant factors are considered.
To be found guilty of a robbery offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused:
- Committed theft
- Used force on a person, made a person fear that they would be subject to force, or sought to put someone in fear of force in order to commit the theft
For armed robbery, the prosecution must additionally prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused used a firearm, imitation firearm, offensive weapon, explosive or imitation explosive.
Should I plead guilty or not guilty?
Deciding what to plead in court can be a difficult choice. We're here to help you make the right one for yourself and your loved ones.
In some circumstances, pleading guilty may allow you to avoid a lengthy and costly court battle and help us negotiate a lighter sentence. We will provide you with all the information surrounding your case and help you explore all your options so that you can make the best decision for your future.
Speak to our criminal defence lawyers today
If you need help with a legal issue, our criminal law experts are standing by. We can answer any questions you may have about your case, your rights, and your options going forward.