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Robbery

Most people think of robbery as a violent act committed by a criminal using a weapon to take something valuable from a an innocent stranger. Although this is certainly the most serious type of accusation, the more common situation involves two people who know each other well. Most cases do not involve a weapon. There is often a dispute between the two people involved about who owns the property.

Queens Robbery Defense Lawyer

Rochelle Berliner is experienced in representing people charged with the very serious criminal offense of robbery throughout New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Manhattan. Robbery charges are serious felony offenses that come with serious criminal penalties.

Call 718-261-5600 today to find out how Rochelle Berliner can help you fight for the best possible results.


NY Robbery Information Center


Definitions under the Robbery Statute in New York

New York law defines the term “stealing” to mean the same thing as "larceny" which is generally defined as an unlawful taking. When the allegation of larceny involves a taking by force, robbery can be alleged.

A person can be charged with larceny when it is alleged that he or she steals property, with the intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the property to himself or herself or to a third person, such person wrongfully withholds, obtains, or takes property from the owner of the property.

Under the laws in New York, the term "robbery" is defined as "forcible stealing property." Robbery refers to a crime committed when a person in the course of committing a larceny, uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person:

  • for the purpose of compelling the owner of such property to engage in other conduct which aids in the commission of the larceny;
  • for the purpose of preventing or overcoming resistance to the retention of the property, immediately after the taking; or
  • for the purpose of preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property; or
  • for the purpose of compelling the owner of such property [or another person] to deliver up the property.

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Various Types of Robbery Charges under New York Law

Under New York law, there are various degrees of Robbery.

  • Robbery 3rd Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.05;
  • Robbery 2nd Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.10(1) (Robbery Aided by Another);
  • Robbery 2nd Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.10(2)(a)(Robbery with Physical Injury);
  • Robbery 2nd Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.10(2)(b) (Robbery - Displays Weapon);
  • Robbery 2nd Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.10(3) (Robbery of Motor Vehicle);
  • Robbery 1st Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.15(1) (Robbery with Serious Physical Injury);
  • Robbery 1st Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.15(2) (Robbery with Deadly Weapon);
  • Robbery 1st Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.15(3) (Robbery with Dangerous Instrument); amd
  • Robbery 1st Degree under New York Penal Law Section 160.15(4) (Robbery which Displays Weapon).

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Robbery in the Third Degree

Robbery in the third degree under New York Penal Law 160.05 is a Class "D" felony. Under New York law, a person can be charged with Robbery in the Third (3rd) Degree when that person forcibly steals property.


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Robbery in the Second Degree

Robbery in the second degree can be divided into four different types of robbery:

Robbery aided by another under New York Penal Law 160.10(1)

Under the laws of the State of New York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the Second Degree under New York Penal Law 160.10(1) a Class "C" felony when that person forcibly steals property and when that person is aided by another person actually present.

The term “actually present” is defined to mean that the person is in a position to render immediate assistance to a person participating in the robbery and is ready, willing and able to do so. See People v Dennis, 75 NY2d 821 (1989); People v Hedgeman, 70 NY2d 533, 543 (1987).

Robbery with physical injury under New York Penal Law 160.10(2)(a)

Robbery with physical injury under New York Penal Law 160.10(2)(a) which is a Class "C" felony. Under the laws of the State of New York, a person can be accused of Robbery in the Second Degree when that person forcibly steals property and when in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person [or another participant in the crime] causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.

Under New York's statutory scheme for robbery, the term "physical injury" is defined broadly to mean impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. New York Penal Law § 10.00(9); See People v. Chiddick, 8 NY3d 445 (2007).

Robbery which displays weapon under New York Penal Law 160.10(2)(b)

Robbery which displays weapon under New York Penal Law 160.10(2)(b) which is a Class "C" felony. Under the laws of New York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the Second (2nd) Degree when that person forcibly steals property and when in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person [or another participant in the crime] displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm. The words “rifle, shotgun, machine gun” were added effective September 1, 1973.

The element that the person “[display] what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm” does not require the prosecutor prove that the object displayed was actually a firearm.

What the prosecutor is required to prove is that the person consciously displayed, or manifested the presence of, something that could reasonably be perceived as a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm and that the person to whom the item was displayed or manifested, perceived it as a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm. See People v Lopez, 73 NY2d 214 (1989); People v Baskerville, 60 NY2d 374 (1983).

Robbery of a motor vehicle under New York Penal Law 160.10(3)

Robbery of a motor vehicle under New York Penal Law 160.10(3), which is a Class "C" felony. Under the laws of the State of New York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the Second Degree when it is alleged that he or she forcibly steals property and when the property consists of a motor vehicle.

For purposes of the robbery statute, the term "motor vehicle" means any vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power.


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Robbery in the First Degree under New York Law

Robbery in the first degree is a Class "B" felony which can be divided into four different types of robbery. Allegations of robbery in the first degree involve an allegation that the robbery involves a serious physical injury, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument.


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Robbery with Serious Physical Injury under New York Penal Law 160.15(1)

Robbery with serious physical injury under New York Penal Law 160.15(1), which is a Class "B" felony. Under the laws of new York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the First (1st) Degree when it is alleged that person forcibly steals property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person [or another participant in the crime] causes serious physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.

For purposes of New York's robbery statute, the term "serious bodily injury" means impairment of a person's physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.


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Robbery Using a Deadly Weapon under New York Penal Law 160.15(2)

Robbery using a deadly weapon under New York Penal Law 160.15(2) which is a Class "B" felony. In New York, a person can be charged with the criminal offense of Robbery in the First Degree when that person forcibly steals property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person or another participant in the crime is armed with a deadly weapon.

For purposes of the robbery statute, the term "Deadly Weapon" is defined as one of the following:

  • any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged;
  • metal knuckles;
  • a blackjack;
  • a billy;
  • a dagger; or
  • any knife including:
    • a pilum ballistic knife defined as any knife having a blade which can be projected from the handle by hand pressure applied to a button, lever, spring or other device in the handle of the knife];
    • a gravity knife defined as any knife having a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or other device; or
    • a switchblade knife defined as any knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife.

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Robbery with a Dangerous Instrument under New York Penal Law 160.15(3)

Robbery with a dangerous instrument under New York Penal Law 160.15(3) which is a Class "B" felony. In New York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the First Degree when it is alleged that the person forcibly steals property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person [or another participant in the crime] uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument.

For purposes of New York's robbery statute, the term "dangerous instrument" is defined to include any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury, that is, serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

Under certain circumstances a "motor vehicle" may qualify as a "dangerous instrument" in a robbery case. Under New York's definition of "dangerous instrument" for purposes of the robbery statute, death or other serious physical injury need not in fact be caused.


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Robbery while Weapon is Displayed under New York Penal Law 160.15(4)

Robbery in the First Degree while weapon is displayed is a Class "B" felony under New York Penal Law 160.15(4). In New York, a person can be charged with Robbery in the First (1st) Degree when that person forcibly steals property and when, in the course of the commission of the crime [or of immediate flight therefrom], that person [or another participant in the crime] displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun,machine gun or other firearm.

Under New York's robbery statute, the element that the person display what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm does not require the prosecutor to prove that the object displayed was actually a firearm.

What the prosecutor is required to prove is that the person consciously displayed, or manifested the presence of, something that could reasonably be perceived as a firearm such as a rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or machine gun and that the person, to whom the item was displayed or manifested, perceived it as a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm.


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Finding an Experienced Attorney for Robbery Charges in Queens, NY

Queens criminal defense lawyer Rochelle Berliner is experienced in representing people charged with robbery throughout New York City. If you are contacted by a law enforcement officer, including a detective with the New York Police Department (NYPD) about any violent crime investigation in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, or Manhattan, never make a statement until after you have spoken with an experienced attorney.

Robbery charges are serious felony offenses that come with serious criminal penalties. Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form today to find out how Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner can help you fight your robbery, burglary or larceny charges in New York City to help you fight for the best possible results.

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Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

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