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A closer look at the crime of robbery in Virginia

| Oct 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Robbery is a serious offense that can have devastating impacts on victims in terms of property loss and residual physical and mental harm. The law in Virginia reflects this by always classifying robbery as a felony offense. Thus, convictions for robbery offenses can potentially result in severe penalties.  

As a result, the crime of robbery warrants further consideration. Outlined below are the key elements of the offense. 

How is robbery defined legally in Virginia? 

Virginia code 18.2-58 outlines the offense of robbery as the act of taking property that does not belong to you, by use of force or intimidation, with the goal of permanently depriving the owner of it. 

What are the key elements of robbery? 

For the crime of robbery to be established, certain key elements must be satisfied. First of all, the property must be taken with the consequence of permanently depriving a victim of ownership over it.

Next, the property must belong to another person. This does not necessarily mean ownership but can also apply to someone in possession of the property at the time. Furthermore, a person may be in constructive possession of the property, which means they retain control over it.  

Additionally, the property must be taken from a person or from their immediate presence. 

Also, the person must not have consented in any way to the property being taken. 

Finally, there must be a presence of force, violence or intimidation. The use of force is what separates robbery from other crimes of dishonesty, such as shoplifting. Victims must have felt the presence of physical force or the threat of physical force, causing them to fear injury or harm. This includes instances where weapons may have been used to secure the surrender of these possessions. 

It could be in your best interests to understand the key components of the crime of robbery in Virginia. Being faced with robbery charges is very serious, and it is important to be familiar with your legal rights and protections.  



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