What is Robbery in Pennsylvania?

What is Robbery in Pennsylvania?

While Robbery and Theft both involve the taking of another’s property, one fact distinguishes them, FORCE. In a Robbery, you not only take someone else’s property, you do so by use of force or seriously injure them. The consequences of a Robbery conviction in Pennsylvania will typically include jail time.  Robbery is considered an extremely heinous offense in Pennsylvania.  So: What is Robbery in Pennsylvania?

Robbery Defined

Pennsylvania statutes 18 Pa.S.C. §3701 and §3702 define Robbery.  §3701 pertains to forcible theft from a person, whereas §3702 pertains to forcible theft of a motor vehicle, i.e., carjacking.

In Pennsylvania, there is not a separate offense for “armed robbery,” which is the term is often used; all robberies other than the Robbery of a motor vehicle (“carjacking”) are fall under 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3701.

Robbery will be charged if while committing a theft, you:

  • Do so using force, even if it is slight force.
  • Inflict or Threaten to Inflict serious bodily injury or bodily injury on the person (aggravated v. simple assault).
  • Threaten to inflict serious bodily injury on someone else.
  • Commit theft while committing or threatening to immediately commit any felony of the first or second degree, such as murder or kidnapping.

For Robbery to occur, you must be in the act of committing the separate offense of Theft.  Same theory as Burglary, in that the unlawful entry to a residence or building must include the intent to commit a separate crime.

What are the Penalties for Committing Robbery in Pennsylvania?

  • Robbery is a Felony of the 1st Degree when you cause serious bodily injury or threaten to cause serious injury to another person, or if you commit the theft while committing another felony.
  • If the injury inflicted is not serious, Robbery is a Felony of the 2nd
  • If you simply use force with no injury resulting, it is a Felony of the 3rd

Robbery and Deadly Weapon Enhancement

If a deadly weapon, such as a firearm, knife, or bat, is used or possessed during the robbery, your sentence will have the deadly weapon enhancement applied, which will result in a longer prison sentence than a Felony Robbery of the 1st Degree with on physical force.

Robbery of a Motor Vehicle Defined

18 Pa.C.S. § 3702 is Pennsylvania’s “robbery of a motor vehicle” statute; this crime is “carjacking.”  It is defined as the theft of a motor vehicle while the vehicle’s owner, or anyone lawfully possessing it, is present regardless of force.

Robbery of a motor vehicle is a Felony of the 1st Degree.

The same as Robbery, Robbert of a Motor Vehicle will have the Deadly Weapon Enhancement applied if a gun, knife, or bat is used in the direct theft of the car.

How Paul S. Peters III, Esquire Can Help

Facing a Robbery charge is a severe and grave situation.  A Robbery conviction is highly likely to result in a prison sentence.  You need a Criminal Defense Attorney, like Attorney Peters, who will stand by you every step of the way, work tirelessly to discredit any evidence, aggressively advocate for you, and work with you to determine the best strategy to achieve the best possible result.  Do not waste time or make the wrong decision concerning a Robbery charge.

Robbery Charges create complicated fact scenarios with serious consequences if convicted, therefore, these cases require that you have an experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive defense attorney to craft and present clear and convincing arguments challenging the evidence, and careful and precise cross-examination to shed doubt on the testimony of witnesses.  This is why you need a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney such as Paul S. Peters III, Esquire.

If you or a loved one face Robbery Charges, you MUST call Attorney Paul S. Peters III, Esquire 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and he can appear at late night bail hearings.  Attorney Paul S. Peters III, Esquire knows that crime and the police never sleep.






If you are arrested in any of the following Pennsylvania Counties:            MontgomeryPhiladelphiaBucksDelawareChesterLehigh, LancasterNorthamptonBerksAdamsCumberlandDauphinFranklinFultonHuntingtonJuniataLebanonMifflinPerrySnyderYork BradfordCameronCentreClintonLycomingMontourNorthumberlandPotterSullivanTiogaUnionCarbonColumbiaLackawannaLuzerneMonroePikeSchuylkillSusquehannaWayne, and Wyoming County 

It is important you contact the trusted, aggressive, and experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney:


Paul S. Peters III, Esquire at: