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Robbery in circumstances of aggravation

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW it is an offence to steal something from someone by threatening them or using physical force to take the item. The offence is known as 'robbery'. It is a more serious offence if you commit the offence “in circumstances of aggravation”. The legislation sets out the certain circumstances or matters which make the offence more serious. This offence is known as “Robbery in Circumstances of Aggravation”.

A person can be charged with the offence if they commit an offence of robbery in circumstances whereby they use violence, inflict an injury or deprive a person of their liberty.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge.

THE OFFENCE OF ROBBERY IN CIRCUMSTANCES OF AGGRAVATION:

The offence of Robbery in Circumstances of Aggravation is contained in section 95 Crimes Act 1900 and states:

  • Whosoever robs, or assaults with intent to rob, any person, or steals any chattel, money, or valuable security, from the person of another, in circumstances of aggravation, shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty years.
  • In this section,
    • "Circumstances of aggravation" means circumstances that (immediately before, or at the time of, or immediately after the robbery, assault or larceny) involve any one or more of the following:
      • The alleged offender uses corporal violence on any person,
      • The alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on any person,
      • The alleged offender deprives any person of his or her liberty.

WHAT ACTIONS MIGHT CONSTITUTE THE OFFENCE OF ROBBERY IN CIRCUMSTANCES OF AGGRAVATION?

Examples of Robbery in Circumstances of Aggravation include:

  • Stopping a woman in an alleyway and demanding she hand over her handbag. When she doesn’t, punching her in the face causing a split lip and running away with the handbag;
  • Tying a delivery man to a pole, threatening to bash him and stealing his parcels.

WHAT THE POLICE MUST PROVE:

To convict you of Robbery in Circumstances of Aggravation the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You unlawfully took and carried away property
  • The property was taken from another person or from under their control;
  • The property was taken against the will of the other person, either by force or by putting the other person in fear;
  • It was taken with the intention of permanently depriving the person of such property;
  • The offence occurred in circumstances of aggravation. This includes:
    • You used corporal violence on any person,
    • You intentionally or recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm on any person,
    • You deprived any person of his or her liberty.
  • That you had no lawful excuse for acting in the above manner.

POSSIBLE DEFENCES FOR ROBBERY IN CIRCUMSTANCES OF AGGRAVATION:

The common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you had a lawful claim of right over the property;
  • To argue that you did not take and carry away the property;
  • To argue that the property was not taken from another person;
  • To argue that the property was not taken against the will of the other person;
  • To argue that you did not possess an intention to permanently deprive the person of the property;
  • To argue that you did not do so in one of the circumstances of aggravation (corporal violence, infliction of actual bodily harm or depravation of liberty); or
  • To raise necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.

WHICH COURT WILL HEAR YOUR MATTER?

The charge is a strictly indictable offence which means that the matter must be finalised in the District Court.



Types of penalties:

Jail for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of robbery in circumstances of aggravation and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention for robbery in circumstances of aggravation: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.

Intensive correction order for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Suspended sentence for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community service order for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge. (CSO): As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good behaviour bond for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community Corrections Orders (CCO): A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.

Fines for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10A: A section 10A is a conviction, with no other penalty attached to it. Read more.

Conditional Release Order (CRO): A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.

Section 10 for a robbery in circumstances of aggravation charge: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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