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A Research Report on Robbery

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Force and Fear
  4. Topic Analysis
  5. Conclusion


This paper will discuss about robbery. Robbery is one of those crimes that people might not know what defines robbery from any other crime. People may not know this, but there are two key factors that play in robbery. According to the book, Peace Officer’s Guide To Criminal Law, by George T. Payton and James E. Guffey, robbery is a felonious taking of personal property in possession of another from a person or immediate presence, against will accomplished by force or fear. In criminal law, the penal code for robbery is PC 211.

The two key factors for robbery to exist there must be force and fear. For force to be applied it must be more than is necessary to carry away property. Fear must be for self, relative, or person with victim. In this paper, you will learn about the history, prosecutions, sentences, defenses against robbery, laws, and will get an understanding of force and fear play a role.


Robbery was one of the early crimes that was punishable by death. According to the History of Robbery, “In the United States, robbery was from colonial days a felony punishable by death”. In the early days when the nation was born suspects would face death if they committed robbery. Robbery came to prominence in England and became the capital felony in England around the 1800s. One of the most famous bank robberies that occurred in the United States is the Dunbar Armed Robbery.

According to the website, 11 of the biggest heists in history, in 1997 a regional safety inspector and his five friends overpowered the guards and loaded the money into their truck. Approximately $18.9 million was taken. Some noticeable crimes of robbery throughout the years are bank robberies, armed robberies, aggravated robberies, carjacking and extortion.

Force and Fear

Both force and fear play a huge role in defining robbery. Lots of people don’t know this, but if you’re missing both two key factors then there is no robbery. According to the website, California Penal Code Section 211 PC: Robbery, “Because robbery involves the use of force or fear, it is considered a serious felony-offense that could result in substantial prison sentences”. Force and fear both play a critical role in robbery because without those two key factors, robbery may never be that high-level felony offense that we know of. Force and fear play a big role because the suspect is making the victim feel petrified.

According to the book, Peace Officer’s Guide to Criminal Law, by George T. Payton and James E. Guffey, states that fear in robbery could be the fear of an unlawful injury to the victim or family member. Fear plays an important role because the suspect could make it seem that he or she is going to hurt the victim or their family. According to the book, Peace Officer’s Guide to Criminal Law, by George Payton and James E. Guffey, “In order for force to be a valid element, it must be more force than is needed to carry off the property”. This means that if a suspect were to snatch someone’s purse there must be force that the suspect had to use to get the purse. If the suspect was able to get the purse without the victim resisting, then there would be no force indicating that it won’t be classify as a robbery.

Topic Analysis

Elements of Robbery

For robbery to be considered robbery there must be these five elements that follow. According to the book, Peace Officer’s Guide to Criminal Law, by George T. Payton and James E. Guffy, the five elements of robbery are: the felonious taking, of the personal property of another, from the victim’s immediate presence, against their will, and by force or fear.

These five elements define the definition of robbery and without these five elements there could be no robbery. There must be an asportation of someone’s personal property, which means taking something that does not belong to you. It must also be from the immediate presence of the victim, if the property was not taken from their immediate presence then it is not a robbery, but rather a burglary. It must also be against their will either by force or fear.


Robbery falls under penal code 211. Robbery is classified as a felony in criminal law. Robbery can be punished by either first degree or second degree. For there to be first degree robbery, robbery must be of an inhabited dwelling, vessel, trailer coach, at or near ATM. All other robberies are considered second degree. According to the website, California Penal Code 211-Robbery, in order to be convicted for robbery, the prosecution must prove that you took someone else’s property from their immediate presence, and it was against their will using force or fear.

For example, a thief goes into a bar and offers a lady a drink. While the lady reaches for the drink, the thief grabs her purse, but the lady can get a hold of her purse and is resisting the thief from taking her purse. This would fall under robbery because the thief is taking something that is not his in front of the immediate presence of the victim, and it is against the will of the victim while using force. You cannot be prosecuted for robbery if these elements don’t apply.


Depending on what type of robbery someone committed will determine how many years you could be sentence. According to the website, Robbery Sentencing and Penalties, California says for second degree robbery, you’ll be sentenced for 2, 3, or 5 years. However, New York gives judges a range to decide how many years someone could face for second degree murder. According to the website, Robbery Sentencing and Penalties, “In addition to prison, probation, and other sentences, statutes may also establish other forms of punishment, such as fines, community service, and restitution”. Judges would often look at the crime and decide the sentence the suspect should get.

According to the website, Robbery Sentencing and Penalties, judges will look at three key elements when deciding a sentence. These three elements are: the value of the stolen property, the level of violence or intimidation used, and the nature of the victim to reach a suitable punishment. Robbery has two type of degrees. The first one being first degree robbery. For first degree robbery, someone could be convicted for 3, 4, or 6 years in prison. According to the website, Penal Code 211 PC-California Robbery Laws, potential sentences could be a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.

Defenses for Robbery

Usually people think that once they’re convicted for robbery, then that’s it. There are certain defenses though that people could use to get away with robbery. According to the website, Robbery Defenses, the defendant could get away from robbery if they talk to an experienced defense lawyer to evaluate your case. There are two types of defenses that defendants usually take: entrapment and duress. Duress means that someone has made you to do something against your will.

According to the website, Robbery Defenses, the defendant that he or she was forced to commit robbery by being threaten. If the defendant can prove that he or she was threatened to commit robbery by someone, the defendant could be found innocent. Entrapment means being caught or trapped in a situation. According to the website, Robbery Defenses, if the defendant felt like he or she was being entrapped, which means he or she was forced to commit a robbery that they didn’t want to, they could be found innocent. Although entrapment and duress can be defenses for the defendant to be found innocent, but even intoxication. According to the website, Robbery Defenses, the defendant could be found innocent if any sort of intoxication made them not control any of their actions.


Robbery is a type of theft that is committed in the presence of the victim. According to the website, Criminal Law Robbery, an assault must not be reported if one was committed in the act of the crime, however if the injury results in death then it should be separate and classified as a homicide. California has many types of laws for robbery. One of them being the use of a firearm. According to the website, California’s Robbery Laws-What You Need to Know, California sets harsher penalties when using the firearm while also committing robbery. This includes and extra ten years if you had it present, an extra twenty years if you fired the firearm, and for life if you cause great bodily injury that resulted to death. You could also be charged for life if you are convicted on the third time that you committed robbery.


Robbery falls under penal code 211 in criminal law. Robbery has been around since the colonial days of America. And it was a high-level crime that deserved for the suspect to be punished by death. Nowadays it is still considered to be a high-level felony crime, but with some circumstances. First robbery has five elements that must be present if it is to be classified as robbery.

Robbery also has two key factors that define it which are force and fear. Force must be more than is necessary to carry away property. And the victim must feel fear of his or her life or feel like their family is in danger. Depending on the type of robbery you committed would depend on the years you would be sent to jail. Ultimately, robbery is such a high-level felony offense because of the force and fear that the suspect places on the victim. They are two key important factors for robbery.

Although there are defenses that the defendants could prove to the judge that they did not commit the crime, it is very unlikely that they didn’t do it especially since most of the time the prosecution would prove the five key elements of robbery. According to criminal law, robbery is a felony and involves the taking of the victim’s personal property in their presence by force and fear.

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