Robbery in the First Degree

The most severe and serious degree of Robbery, Robbery in the First Degree is a violent crime punishable by no less than five years and a maximum of twenty five years in state prison. Like the lower degrees, Robbery in the First Degree requires a forcible stealing of property. However, to ascend to this offense, additional actions or elements are required.

New York Penal Law 160.15(1)

If you forcibly steal property and during that theft or flight therefrom, you or another participant causes a serious physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime, then you have committed this crime.

New York Penal Law 160.15(2)

If you forcibly steal property and during that theft or flight therefrom, you or another participant are armed with a deadly weapon, then you have committed this crime.

New York Penal Law 160.15(3)

If you forcibly steal property and during that theft or flight therefrom, you or another participant threaten the use of a dangerous instrument, then you have committed this crime

New York Penal Law 160.15(4)

If you forcibly steal property and during that theft or flight therefrom, you or another participant displays a firearm, then you have committed this crime. It is important to note that it is an affirmative defense (one the accused must establish) that the gun in question was not operable, not loaded, etc. Assuming you are successful in establishing this, it does not preclude prosecution for Robbery in the Second or Third Degrees.

Although the above definitions are fairly clear, they contain critical legal language that someone unfamiliar with the criminal law may not understand. For example, how does physical injury differ from serious physical injury? How far must one go before one’s actions establish a displaying of a firearm or what appears to be one? What about the old finger underneath the shirt trick? Is that “displays?”

There can be no mistake. Robbery in the First Degree, and to a slightly lesser extent Robbery in the Second and Third Degrees, is a serious offense. To fully grasp the charges as well as to ascertain possible defenses, consult with experienced New York criminal defense attorneys.

The New York criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC represent those accused of all crimes throughout the New York City region.

Call us at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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