Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Robbery

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Robbery
s. 343 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Indictable
Jurisdiction Prov. Court
SC Judge + PI (I)
SC Jury + PI (I) (536(2))
Indictable Dispositions
Maximum life
References
Offence Elements
Sentence Principles
Sentence Digests
Comments
DNA Primary designated offence
DO/LTO Designated Offence

Legislation[edit]

344. (1) Every person who commits robbery is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
(i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and
(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;
(a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Subsequent offences
(2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

(a) an offence under this section;
(b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or
(c) an offence under section 220, 236, 239, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.
Sequence of convictions only
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.


CCC

Robbery to steal firearm
98.1 Every person who commits a robbery within the meaning of section 343 with intent to steal a firearm or in the course of which he or she steals a firearm commits an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

2008, c. 6, s. 9.


CCC

Application[edit]

Principles[edit]

In most provinces the case law has set the starting point for robbery in general start at 3 years.[1] The sentence is adjusted from that starting point either up or down based on the circumstances of the offence and the circumstances of the accused. The normal range is in excess of 2 years.[2]

In Manitoba, there is no starting point for robberies.[3]

In Alberta, The starting point for a mugging robbery is 12 to 18 months.[4]

Robberies involving stabbings are frequently in the four to five years range.[5]

As with most robberies and break and enters, the primary focus is deterrence and denunciation, thus, characteristics of the offender may be of limited to no relevance.

In Alberta, the starting point for robbery of a bank by use of a note is 4 years incarceration.[6]

In Nova Scotia, financial institution robberies are in the range of 6 to 10 years.[7]

In the rare cases, robberies can include suspended sentences.[8]

  1. R. v. Johnas (1982), 32 C.R. (3d) l (Alta. C.A.)
  2. R. v. Wozny, 2010 MBCA 115
  3. R. v. Sorensen, 2006 MBCA 38 at 19
  4. R. v. Nerling, 2011 ABPC 371 (CanLII) at 6
    R v Carter, [1992] AJ No 561 (CA) (no record, no injuries, low value)
    R v Nyland, [1991] AJ No 1136 (CA)(no record, no injuries, low value)
    R v Saeed, 2004 ABCA 385, 357 AR 238 (no record, no injuries, low value)
  5. R. v. Biln, 1999 BCCA 369 (CanLII), 1999 BCCA 369
  6. R. v. Brennan [2003] A.J. No. 1366 (Alta. C.A.)
    R. v. Jenkins, 2004 ABPC 48
    R. v. Earl, [1985] A.J. No. 168
    R. v. Trudell, [1984] A.J. No. 932
    c.f. R. v. Hung (1990), 113 A.R. 205, [1990] A.J. No. 1074 (QL) (Alta. C.A.), at 214: "the starting‑point for any sentence involving robbery of a financial institution is five years in the penitentiary"
  7. R v Leet (1989) 88 NSR (2d) 161 per Chipman
  8. see R. v. Carver, [1980] M.J. No. 257 (C.A.)
    R. v. Ramsay, [1985] M.J. No. 417 (C.A.)
    R. v. Bartlett, [1961] M.J. No. 2 (C.A.)

Home Invasion[edit]

The term “home invasion” can be applied to wide range of offences and so can be misleading to assume they are all similar cases.[1]

Alberta has required a home invasion is a robbery to include:[2]

  1. plan to commit robbery in a home where offender expects to be found in dwelling
  2. arms self with weapon
  3. enters dwelling that is reasonably known to be occupied
  4. confines occupants
  5. threaten occupants
  6. steals money or valuable property

In Nova Scotia, private dwelling robberies are in the range of 6 to 10 years. [3]

In British Columbia, the range of sentence for home invasions involving serious violence is 8 to 12 years.[4]

In Newfoundland,the "low end" of the acceptable range is 18 months.[5]

  1. R. v. A.J.C.; R. v. Joseph, 2004 BCCA 268 (CanLII) at 1
  2. R. v. Matwiy, [1996] A.J. No. 134 (C.A.)
  3. R v Leet (1989) 88 NSR (2d) 161 per Chipman
  4. R v DAW, [2002] BCJ 1156 (CA)
  5. R. v. P.J.B., 1999 CanLII 18938 (NL CA), (1999), 182 Nfld. and P.E.I.R. 14 (NLCA)

Factors[edit]

Key Factors[1]

  • age
  • criminal record
  • use of a weapon
  • use of a mask
  • awareness of elderly or otherwise vulnerable victims
  • injuries to victim
  • planning and sophistication
  • opportunity to reconsider plan
  • measure of violence
  • use restraints on victims
  • substance abuse history


  1. R. v. Brogan, 1999 BCCA 278 at para 10

See also[edit]