Firm Logo
Call for a Free Consultation215-486-0123

Understanding Robbery In Pennsylvania: There Is More Than One Type

March 17, 2022

Recently, a couple was returning to their vehicle after leaving a bar in Philadelphia, when they were robbed at gun point by two men wearing ski masks. The male victim gave the robbers $500 in cash before the two suspects left the scene. During the interaction, one of the suspects had a handgun and fired a shot before leaving. Fortunately, no one was injured. Law enforcement is still trying to locate the two perpetrators.

The story is very interesting. Many people may assume that because the crime involved a firearm, the offense is automatically classified as armed robbery. However, that is not true. Armed robbery certainly is one type of robbery in Pennsylvania, but there are others, as well. Below, our criminal defense lawyer in Allentown explains what those are.

Armed Robbery

It is natural to assume that any time a robbery involves the use of a firearm or other weapon, it is a case of armed robbery. This is not always true. Most often, in order for an offense to be classified as armed robbery, a weapon must be used during the commission of the crime and the victim must sustain serious bodily injury. In the past, some have been convicted of armed robbery for using a weapon while also knowingly threatening the victim. In this case, no harm may need to occur for someone to face much more serious charges. In the above story, the prosecution would likely have the discretion to determine which charges to bring.

Strong Arm Robbery

Strong arm robbery is similar to armed robbery, but there are important differences. Strong arm robbery does require the threat of harm, but it need not be serious bodily injury. Any threat of harm may constitute strong arm robbery when it happens during a theft. Strong arm robbery also does not require the use of a weapon. Even punching someone may constitute enough bodily harm to classify the offense as strong arm robbery. Charges of a first or second degree felony may apply in strong arm robbery cases, depending on the level of harm that was threatened or sustained.

Purse Snatching Robbery

When very little force is used during the commission of a robbery, the offense is classified as a purse snatching robbery. For someone to be charged with this offense, the victim must know that the crime is occurring. Simply stealing a wallet out of someone’s pocket, for example, would only constitute a misdemeanor theft charge if the victim was unaware the theft was occurring.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Allentown Can Help with Your Charges

If you have been charged with any type of robbery in Pennsylvania, our Allentown criminal defense lawyer can help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our seasoned attorneys know how to build a solid defense that can help you beat the charges. Call us today at 215-515-6892 or fill out our online form to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys so we can get started on your case.



Criminal Defense
Firm Logo
Allentown Office609 Hamiltion St,Suite 7Allentown, PA 18101Map & Directions
Philadelphia Office1219 Spruce StPhiladelphia, PA 19107Map & Directions
Montgomery County Office411 Cherry St.Norristown, PA 19401Map & Directions
Follow Us
Make A Payment