29 Jun 20

NY Penal Law § 160.10: Robbery in the Second Degree

| by

Last Updated on: 5th August 2023, 01:32 am

Akin to larceny and burglary, robbery is a type of theft offense.  What sets it apart from other theft crimes is the use of physical force or the threat of physical force in the course of committing the crime. This requisite force or threat of force can be directed by the perpetrator  toward the victim or toward a third party. In the New York criminal code, there are 3 degrees of robbery.  They are robbery in the first degree, second degree and third degree. According to New York Penal Code § 160.10, you could be charged and prosecuted for robbery in the second degree if:

  1. You use a gun or threaten to use a gun,
  2. The victim sustains any physical injuries as a result of your actions,
  3. You commit the robbery with the help of another person (an accomplice), or
  4. You steal a vehicle

For Example

As Shannon was walking home from an after work party by herself late one evening, Thomas confronted her on a dark street. He had a knife in his hand, and he showed it to Shannon as he demanded that she hand over her purse. Hassan stood at the corner, serving as a lookout for Thomas while he accosted and robbed Shannon. Both Thomas and Hassan could face prosecution for the crime of robbery in the second degree.  Although Hassan only served as the lookout, as an accomplice, he is subject to the law as well.

Offenses that are Related

Petit Larceny: New York Penal Code § 155.25

Burglary in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 140.25

Criminal possession of stolen goods in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 165.52

Robbery in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 160.05

Robbery in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 160.15

Possible Defenses

There are a number of possible defenses against a charge of robbery in the second degree. One plausible defense, if you face a second degree robbery charge on the basis of the victim suffering an injury, is that the victim did not sustain an injury as defined by New York Penal Code § 10.00(9). Under the Penal Code, a “physical injury” is more than just a small cut or a bruise that goes away within 1-2 days. On the contrary, it is an injury that results in a physical impairment or substantial pain.

The Sentence

Since robbery in the second degree is categorized as a class C felony, the maximum prison sentence you could face is generally 15 years. That said, the final determination as to the length of your prison sentence will greatly depend on your prior criminal record. If you have no prior convictions on your record, then the judge would still be required to sentence you to at least 3.5 years in prison, since robbery in the second degree is also classified as a violent felony. In another scenario, you can be classified as a non-violent predicate offender.  If so, the court will be required to sentence you to a minimum of 5 years in prison.  If, however, you are classified as a violent predicate offender, you must be sentenced to at least 7 years behind bars. On top of that, you may be required to pay a significant fine as well as restitution to your victim.