Understanding Canadian Criminal Law

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Defending Robbery Charges in Toronto

Robbery Lawyer Toronto

robbery arrestRobbery is a serious criminal charge with grave consequences. The maximum punishment for robbery is life imprisonment. In cases involving the use of firearms, there is a minimum sentence of four years imprisonment. Daniel Brown is an experienced criminal defence lawyer practicing in Toronto, Ontario. He, and the lawyers at Daniel Brown Law have defended numerous allegations of robbery before both judges and juries. No matter what the specifics of your case are, speaking with a lawyer can help you to understand what options may be available.

To learn more about defending robbery charges in Toronto, Brampton, Oshawa, Newmarket or elsewhere in Ontario, call Daniel Brown at (416) 297-7200 or read the article below.

Frequently asked questions about robbery charges in Toronto, Ontario.

What is a robbery?

A robbery occurs when a person does any of the following:

(a) steals from another while using violence or threats of violence towards them or their property;

(b) assaults someone with intent to steal from them; or

(c) steals from any person while armed with a real or imitation weapon.

What level of “violence” is required to constitute a robbery?

An assault would meet the level of violence required to establish a robbery occurred if it coincided with a theft or an attempted theft. The assault must occur immediately before or immediately after the accused person steals or attempts to steal.

An assault includes wounding, beating, striking or using any personal violence to the victim. The assault itself need not cause physical harm but must be of a substantial nature.

Holding a person’s arms to prevent resistance is sufficient “violence” to constitute a robbery. However,  a technical assault, such as nudging or bumping the complainant to steal, would not be enough to meet the “violence” definition.

A person can also be found guilty of robbery if they steal from someone while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation weapon, regardless of whether or not the weapon is used or threatened to be used during the theft. Merely having a weapon or imitation weapon is sufficient to ground a robbery conviction.

What constitutes a “threat of violence”?

The determination of whether or not the accused’s words or actions constitute “threats of violence” will turn on the facts of each case. The court will examine factors such as the manner in which the words were said; the accused’s appearance; the mode and time of entry into the premises where the alleged offence occurred in assessing whether a threat of violence was made.

Can I be charged with robbery but found guilty of a lesser offence such as theft or assault instead?

Because the elements of a robbery require both a theft and an assault, a person facing a robbery charge may be found not guilty of a robbery if one of the elements had not been proven, but guilty of the lesser offences of either assault or theft on their own. Follow these links for more information on theft and assault.

What are the penalties for robbery and armed robbery?

Robbery carries a maximum jail sentence of life in prison. In cases where a firearm is used during the robbery, there is a mandatory minimum punishment of four years in the penitentiary. Where the firearm used is an imitation weapon, the minimum punishment is one year in jail.

If a restricted or prohibited firearm is used to commit robbery, and the robbery was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, the minimum punishment is five years’ in jail for a first offence and seven years for a second or subsequent offence.

What are some consequences of a robbery conviction?

The consequences arising from being convicted of a robbery charge can include:

  • job loss
  • lengthy jail sentences
  • problems with immigration including deportation.
  • being deemed ineligible for certain professions, jobs, and opportunities
  • being denied entry into the United States or other countries
  • living with the social stigma of a criminal record
  • risk of the conviction being reported publicly in the media
  • obtaining a criminal record that will be stored and accessible in the national CPIC database

If you or someone you know is charged with robbery, you should immediately contact a criminal lawyer to determine your best defence to this type of criminal charge. Daniel Brown can be reached for a consultation about your case at (416) 297-7200.

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