Aggravated robbery

What is Aggravated Robbery?

The offence of Aggravated robbery is found at section 95 of the Crimes Act 1900.

Aggravated robbery is a serious criminal offence that can often be defended where there is a dispute as to the circumstances in which the alleged victim handed over the property. The essence of a robbery is that violence is done or threatened to the person of the owner or custodian who stands between the offender and the property stolen, in order to overcome that person’s resistance and so to oblige him to part with the property; in other words, the victim must be compelled by force or fear to submit to the theft. It is not sufficient that the threat of violence is made after the property has been taken or the stealing occurs as a separate incident following an act of violence.

If you are charged with the offence of Aggravated robbery, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Aggravated robbery if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You with the intent to steal;
  2. Took property;
  3. From the victim’s immediate control or presence;
  4. By the use of violence or by putting the victim in fear;
  5. In circumstances of aggravation immediately before, at the time of or immediately after the assault (see below).


  1. You assaulted the victim; and
  2. You intended to steal property from the victim or another person;
  3. By the use of violence or the putting of that person in fear; and
  4. In circumstances of aggravation immediately before, at the time of or immediately after the assault (see below).

Circumstances of aggravation are:

  1. Using corporal violence on any person; or
  2. Intentionally or recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm (the injury need not be permanent but must be more than merely transient and trifling to any person); or
  3. Depriving any person of his or her liberty.

A person intends an event if they decide to bring it about by their act or omission and if they foresee an event as the inevitable consequence of their act or omission, they intend to bring about that result even if was not the purpose of their act.

An assault is the intentional or reckless application of force to the person of another or any act which intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence, including words.

Stealing involves you taking and carrying away property that belonged to another person with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of that property and the taking was done without the consent of the owner.

What are the defences to Aggravated Robbery?

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if a defence can be established.

Claim of Right is a defence to a Robbery charge. A person will have a claim of right where they possess a genuine belief that they have a bona fide claim of right to certain money or property taken. If you believed you were entitled to take the property, it does not matter that you did not believe you were entitled to take it in the manner you did and a robbery charge will fail because you cannot steal your own property. Read more about claim of right, here.

Other defences to Robbery include:

Contact our offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown or Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Aggravated Robbery.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Aggravated robbery pursuant to section 95 is not subject to the guideline judgement and there is no requirement for a court to impose a sentence of full time imprisonment but for there being exceptional circumstances. However, it has been held by the Court of Criminal Appeal that many of the characteristics considered in the Henry armed robbery guideline judgment (are common to offences contrary to section 95. The court accepted that the guideline is a “relevant reference point” but must be approached with caution when sentencing for an offence contrary to section 95. Even when all of the characteristics of the guideline judgment are satisfied (apart from the characteristic that the offender was armed), a sentencing judge is not permitted to adopt as a starting point a sentence of four to five years.

Aggravated robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment in the District Court. However, this penalty is typically reserved for the worst offenders. It is an extremely serious criminal offence and if you are charged with Aggravated robbery you should contact our office immediately.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Robbery offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Robbery charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented an Accused person charged with Aggravated Robbery. The Accused man admitted to the police that he had both been in a fight with the victim and also had taken his wallet. Mr Correy represented to the DPP that the fight had occurred without any intention to rob and the wallet had fallen from the victim’s pocket during the fight. Mr Correy represented that the taking of the wallet occurred following the fight and the threat of violence and taking did not coincide. The DPP agreed and laid charges of assault and steal from person resulting in the offences staying in the Local Court. The Accused person plead guilty and received section 9 bonds.

Case study

Our solicitor appeared in trial for an Accused charged with Inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and Assault with intent to rob. The prosecution witnesses were cross examined to establish that the Accused could not be identified as having been involved in the robbery and it could not be established his role in the brawl that subsequently broke out included use or knowledge of a knife used to stab the victim. It was argument any involvement he had was in self-defence. The jury subsequently found the Accused not guilty of all charges.

Case study

AC Law Group represented a person charged with robbery in company inflicting grievous bodily harm and intentionally inflict grievous bodily harm, both offences which carry a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. He had a substantial criminal record and was facing many years in gaol if sentenced for those charges. The Crown prosecutor was convinced to accept a plea of guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and the client received a 2 year sentence with a 12 month non-parole period.

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