Armed robbery is a crime

Robbery in German criminal law: offense and scope of punishment

Penalty Catalog
robberyImprisonment not less than 1 year
... less severe caseImprisonment from 6 months to 5 years
serious robbery within the meaning of Section 250 (1) StGBImprisonment not less than 3 years
serious robbery within the meaning of Section 250 (2) StGBImprisonment not less than 5 years
less serious case according to § 250 Abs. 3 StGB1-10 years imprisonment
Robbery resulting in deathlifelong, at least not under 10 years

Masked perpetrators threaten a man with a pistol and demand that he hand over his watch, cell phone and wallet. A Gang raids a money truck, ties up the driver of the van and takes all the money with them.

False parcel carriers attack a pensioner at his apartment door and ask him to hand over all jewelry and valuables. We know such robberies well enough from the news and crime films.

But what exactly is behind this crime? The following guide takes a comprehensive look at robbery as a crime. We explain the facts of the case, the differences to theft and other offenses and also go into the punishment that the perpetrator faces if convicted.

FAQ: Robbery according to the StGB

When do we speak of a robbery?

Robbery is a criminal offense by definition. The perpetrator takes things away from someone else using violence or threats to the victim. So this crime is a combination of theft and coercion. You can find out more about the elements here.

What punishment does the perpetrator have to expect?

If convicted, the perpetrator faces a prison sentence of at least one year. Robbery is therefore a crime.

Is attempted robbery a punishable offense?

Yes, attempting robbery is also a criminal offense. This is not expressly stated in Section 249 of the Criminal Code, but results from Section 23 (1) of the Criminal Code, according to which attempting a crime is always punishable.

Robbery: The facts simply explained

Robbery combines two other crimes - theft and coercion - into a separate crime. So the robber commits one Theft with the means of coercion of force or threat. In contrast to coercion, the offense of robbery requires the use of force against a person or a "Threat of a current danger to life or limb“.

In the case of coercion, however, the use of force against things (damage to property) or the threat of a sensitive evil such as B. a financial disadvantage.

Robbery requires the following criteria:

  • Taking away a foreign, movable thing as an act of crime
  • Qualified coercion as a means of crime: violence against a person or "threat of current danger to life or limb"
  • Relationship between coercion and removal: The perpetrator uses the coercive means in his mind as a means of removal.
  • Intent regarding the removal and the coercion
  • Intent to appropriation at the time of removal (perpetrator assumes a position similar to that of an owner)
  • unlawful appropriation, i.e. the perpetrator has no claim to the thing that has been taken away

Robbery and theft: The difference lies in the fact that a robber uses force to take something away or threatens his victim with danger to life and limb.

Robbery or Blackmail?

The question of how robbery and predatory extortion differ or how these two facts relate to one another is not that simple. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) this one completely different view from the legal literature.

The predatory extortion is in Section 255 of the Criminal Code criminalized:

"If the blackmail is committed through violence against a person or with the use of threats with a current danger to life or limb, the perpetrator is to be punished like a robber."

In general terms, the two views can be roughly described as follows juxtapose:

Federal Court of Justice (e.g. BGH 5 StR 606/17)

Every robbery is also a predatory blackmail, § 249 StGB is the special provision.

The “external appearance of the property-damaging behavior of the victim” is decisive for the demarcation between the two offenses: does the perpetrator take the thing away from him or the victim hand it over to him?

Coercion and predatory blackmail are related, but not fraud and predatory blackmail.

Dominant view in literature

Robbery and blackmail are mutually exclusive.

Extortion is a self-harm - just like fraud. In the case of fraud, the perpetrator achieves his goal by deceiving his victim, and in the case of extortion by means of threats or the use of force.

What is serious robbery under Section 250 StGB?

Certain forms of offense are considered particularly serious and are therefore punished more severely. This means that the minimum penalty is significantly higher here than for a simple robbery.

For one heavy robbery threatens one, for example three to five years imprisonment. This applies, for example, in the following cases:

  • Robbery with one weapon or another dangerous tool (Incidentally, it is sufficient for this if the perpetrator or a person involved in the crime only carries this weapon with him without using it.)
  • The robber or someone else involved has one Tool or means with yourself, so that the To prevent resistance from the victim. Classic aids of this type are z. B. ropes or zip ties to tie up, tape to gag the victim or the toy gun that looks deceptively similar to a real firearm.
  • The perpetrator brings his victim into the "Risk of serious damage to health“.
  • The culprit abuses his victim difficult or in danger of death.

Robbery resulting in death according to § 251 StGB

According to § 251 StGB threaten the robber at least ten years in prisonif he was through the robbery at least carelessly causing the death of another person. The actual victim does not necessarily have to die. The victim can also be a completely uninvolved person.

So has the Federal Court of Justice affirms criminal liability according to § 251 StGB in the following case (BGH NStZ 2015, 696):

The perpetrators enter the apartment of an 82-year-old couple masked and armed. They tie up the husband and then meet his wife, who is seriously ill with asthma. When the perpetrators call for silence at gunpoint, she suffers an asthma attack from shock and dies from it.

Frivolity represents a particularly serious form of negligence. Anyone who acts carelessly violates his duties of care to a particular degree out of indifference or carelessness.

Less serious case of robbery - application of exceptional penalties

Section 249 (2) and Section 250 (3) of the Criminal Code expressly provide for a less serious case. Therefore, the criminal court must assess all the circumstances of the individual case and examine whether such a case exists. According to the established case law of the Federal Court of Justice, this is always necessary when the Perpetrator personality and the entire image of the average resp. commonly occurring robberies.

That requires a Overall consideration of all circumstancesthat are suitable for an evaluation of the perpetrator and the act, such as:

  • Circumstances inherent in the act itself, e.g. B. one only little use of force (Slap in the face) or a poor prey
  • Perpetrator personality, for example his criminal energy and (nonexistent) criminal record
  • behavior of the perpetrator after the robbery, e.g. B. his confession, repentance, attempted reparation

Robbery in juvenile criminal law

Is the offender a Adolescent or a teenager with the maturity of a teenager, so The penalty framework from the Criminal Code does not apply, but juvenile justice. The Juvenile Court Act (JGG) does not recognize the idea of ​​punishment as a deterrent. Instead, the focus here is on the educational concept.

In the case of crimes such as robbery, this has the consequence that the juvenile offender gets away with "black eyes". For example, while an adult would be sentenced to at least five years imprisonment in the event of serious robbery, the defense lawyer of a young person or adolescent can sometimes do one Youth sentence on probation to reach.

According to § 18 JGG is the duration of the youth penalty between six months and five years. So it is also a matter of deprivation of liberty, which, however, is not carried out in adult custody, but in juvenile prisons.

(26 Ratings, average: 4,20 of 5)
Robbery in German criminal law: offense and scope of punishment
4.2526Loading ...

You might also be interested in: