ROBBERY UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
The definition of robbery is slightly complex. Washington code says that a person commits robbery if he “unlawfully takes personal property from the person of another or in his or her presence against his or her will by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury to that person or his or her property or the person or property of anyone.”
In the interest of simplifying, robbery is perhaps best understood by breaking the crime down into three elements. These include:
- The taking of personal property from another;
- This taking is done against a person’s will; and,
- The taking is committed by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury.
There are two different degrees of robbery that a person can get charged with in Washington. Robbery in the first degree is charged when an accused commits robbery and also:
- Is armed with a deadly weapon
- Displays a firearm or deadly weapon
- Causes bodily injury while committing the crime
- Robs a financial institution
Robbery in the second degree is essentially a robbery that does not meet the qualifications of robbery in the first degree. Washington code states that a person is guilty of robbery in the second degree if he or she commits robbery. Robbery in the first degree is treated as a class A felony while robbery in the second degree is treated as a class B felony.