About Robbery Laws, Charges & Convictions
Robbery is defined as the taking money or property by force or threatening force against the victim. Some of the more common forms of robbery include armed robbery, in which a weapon is used, and aggravated robbery, in which a weapon or something that looks like a weapon is used.
In the US, robbery involves the trespassing, taking and carrying away of personal property of another person, with intent, by using force or by threatening the use of force. It is the use or threat of force that distinguishes robbery from larceny.
About Robbery Laws in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there is a difference between unarmed and armed robbery, as in many states. In unarmed robbery, you still face life in prison, but usually it is a term of 5-12 years. To be found guilty, the prosecution must show that in the crime, you:
- Did not use a weapon
- Used force of violence
- Robbed or stole property or money
- Property was something that would constitute larceny, without the added element of force
Also, Massachusetts law has special parameters if your victim was over the age of 60. This also carries the same possible penalties as regular unarmed robbery. However, this is treated as a very serious offense by the district attorney, judges and juries. On a second offense, you will be guaranteed a sentence of at least 2 years.
Regarding armed robbery, Massachusetts law states that this is defined as the assault, robbing or stealing from another individual while armed with a deadly weapon.
In this case, the prosecutor needs to prove:
- You were armed with a deadly weapon (not just a knife or a gun)
- You made a threat that instilled fear in the victim, either by words or actions
- You stole the money or property of the victim
- You took the victim’s money or property from the control of the victim
Interestingly, if you were disguised or wore a mask during your armed robbery, you will get at least five years on the first offense. If you had a pistol, rifle, shot gun or machine gun, you will get at least five years, too. Life in prison also is a possibility in some cases.
Statistics on Robbery in Massachusetts
Robbery is slightly on the upswing in Massachusetts for the decade 2000-10. There were 5,815 cases of robbery (armed and unarmed) in 2000, and 6,874 cases in 2010.
The state of Massachusetts ranked as follows in the 50 states for robbery:
- 2008: 25th
- 2007: 24th
- 2006: 22nd
- 2005: 21st
If you have been accused of robbery, or any other serious crime, contact the Law Offices of Geoffrey G. Nathan, one of Boston’s best criminal lawyers in Mass. He has the experience and legal skills needed to handle serious criminal matters. To arrange an office consultation, contact us now.