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Robbery involving an automobile leads to enhanced penalties

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Connecticut law defines robbery as a larceny offense where the offender uses or threatens to use physical force. This physical force is used to either prevent the victim’s resistance or compel the owner of the property to be robbed to deliver it. It’s a violent crime, and anyone convicted faces charges for a felony.

But did you know that if a robbery offense involved taking an occupied motor vehicle, the offender faces enhanced penalties?

Taking an occupied motor vehicle leads to additional punishment

Under state law, anyone who commits robbery by taking a motor vehicle from another person occupying the vehicle faces additional penalties on conviction. On conviction, the person will serve a three-year prison sentence, which can’t be suspended.

This prison term is in addition and consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed on the offender for their violation.

Penalties stack with those for a robbery conviction

A conviction for robbery involving an occupied motor vehicle will enhance any robbery offense, effectively adding three more years of prison that the offender must serve. The maximum imprisonment period for the following degrees of robbery, when enhanced, become:

  • Robbery in the third degree, Class D felony: Normally punishable by five years in prison, it instead becomes up to eight years if a motor vehicle robbery was involved.
  • Robbery in the second degree, Class C felony: A robbery crime where the offender was either aided by another person or had threatened to use a deadly weapon. This is also the criminal degree for a robbery offense where the offense occurred on the premises of a bank or credit union. Typically punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, a motor vehicle robbery enhancement turns it to 13 instead.
  • Robbery in the first degree, Class B felony: A crime where, during the course of the offense, the offender caused serious physical injury or had a deadly weapon. A conviction for this crime leads to up to 40 years of prison – five of which a court can’t suspend or reduce. A motor vehicle robbery enhancement pushes this to up to 43 years, with eight of those years being mandatory.

Those convicted of robbery face some of the harshest criminal penalties. But if a court finds that their offense also involved robbing another person of their vehicle, those penalties become even more severe. If you face robbery and vehicle robbery charges, carefully consider your legal options with the help of an attorney.