Robbery is a theft crime involving certain factors that enhance its severity. Ohio has two laws concerning this offense: O.R.C. 2911.02 (robbery) and O.R.C. 2911.01 (aggravated robbery). Both crimes are felonies; however, because aggravated robbery involves more serious conduct, it is considered the more severe of the two.
Aggravated robbery is always a first-degree felony. This is one of the highest degrees of felonies and carries harsh penalties. A conviction can result in up to 16.5 years in prison and/or up to $20,000 in fines.
In contrast, robbery – without any aggravating factors – is either a second- or third-degree felony. The level of charges levied against an alleged offender is determined by how the crime was committed.
When a second-degree felony, robbery is penalized by up to 12 years in prison and/or up to $15,000 in fines. As a third-degree felony, it carries up to 36 months' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Why Is Aggravated Robbery a First-Degree Felony?
Before elaborating on the elements of aggravated robbery, let us first discuss the word "aggravated." Generally, aggravated means to increase the severity of something. In other words, some factor or circumstance was present that made the situation worse.
Robbery is aggravated when it involves the alleged offender:
- Displaying, brandishing, mentioning, or using a deadly weapon;
- Having a dangerous ordnance on them at the time of the offense;
- Inflicting or attempting to inflict serious physical harm upon another;
- Taking a deadly weapon from an on-duty law enforcement official knowing that the person was an on-duty officer
How Is Aggravated Robbery Different from Robbery?
We stated that aggravating factors are those that make a situation worse. So in terms of robbery offenses, how is aggravated robbery different from robbery?
For one, although both crimes involve the presence of a weapon, its function during each differs. Recall from earlier that in an aggravated offense the alleged offender makes the presence of the weapon known. In robbery not involving aggravating factors, the actor merely had the weapon "on or about" them. Additionally, Ohio's robbery statute makes no mention of a dangerous ordnance, whereas the presence of such is an element of aggravated robbery.
A dangerous ordnance includes:
- Automatic or sawed-off guns,
- Zip guns,
- Ballistic knives,
- Explosives or incendiary devices,
- Explosive substances,
- Military-grade weapons, and
- Firearm muffler or suppressor
Another factor making aggravated robbery worse than robbery is the impact on the alleged victim. Robbery results in physical injury to another. Conversely, aggravated robbery causes serious physical injury.
One element of aggravated robbery not present in the robbery statute involves law enforcement officials. A person may be charged with the latter crime if they take or attempt to take a weapon from an on-duty police officer. The individual must also have known or reasonably known that they were robbing a law enforcement official.
Get Experienced Legal Defense on Your Side
Although aggravated robbery is more serious than robbery, both are severe. A conviction for either can have substantial negative impacts on a person's life.
If you've been accused of either crime, our Dayton attorneys at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC are ready to fight your charge. Schedule a free case evaluation by contacting us at (937) 685-7006 today.