Robbery in Virginia (Va. Code §18.2-58) is the taking of property from another person by violence or intimidation with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. Robbery is a very serious charge in Virginia and is punished with 5 years up to life in prison.
Proof of Robbery in Virginia
To convict an offender of a robbery in Virginia under Va. Code §18.2-58, the Commonwealth must prove:
- a taking
- by violence, force, threats or intimidation
- of personal property
- from a person or his presence
- with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property.
Taking: A taking occurs when an offender acquires control over property and moves it in any way.
Personal Property: The Commonwealth must prove that the offender took personal property. The victim does not need to be the owner of the property; taking property from anyone’s possession is enough to satisfy this element of robbery in Virginia.
From Person or his Presence: Robbery in Virginia is committed when property is taken by force from a person or in his presence. If a person does not have actual physical control over property, but is close enough to the property to exert control over it, the property is in his presence. A business is considered a person for purposes of a robbery charge in Virginia.
Intent: The Commonwealth must prove that the offender intended to permanently deprive the owner of his property. The intent to permanently deprive must exist at the time of the taking AND at the time of the violence/force/threat/intimidation.
Violence: The violence must have occurred prior to or at the same time as the taking. This element is met if the Commonwealth can prove either force, threats, violence, or intimidation. Violence includes physical acts of violence, putting a person in fear of serious bodily harm, or presenting or threatening the victim with a firearm or other deadly weapon. Intimidation means putting the victim in fear of reasonable apprehension of harm.
Robbery in Virginia is punished with 5 years up to life in prison (Va. Code §18.2-58). The use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery is a separate felony offense under Va. Code §18.2-53.1, punished with a minimum of three years in prison for a first offense. A second offense is punished with a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison. An offender can be convicted of both robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in Virginia and the sentences will be consecutive. For more information on use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in Virginia, click here.
Virginia Robbery Statute
§ 18.2-58 of the Virginia Code describes the penalties for a robbery. It states:
“If any person commit robbery by partial strangulation, or suffocation, or by striking or beating, or by other violence to the person, or by assault or otherwise putting a person in fear of serious bodily harm, or by the threat or presenting of firearms, or other deadly weapon or instrumentality whatsoever, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in a state correctional facility for life or any term not less than five years.”