When we think of “robbers” throughout history or pop culture, we often conjure up images of famous outlaws such as legendary bank robber Jesse James or the infamous John Dillinger, who was accused of pulling off at least 24 bank robberies, among other crimes. But let’s be really clear about robbery – it isn’t glamorous. It isn’t a crime that is going to get your picture memorialized in history books. Robbery is a major crime, especially when committed with a dangerous or deadly weapon. Indiana robbery laws severely penalize those convicted of the offense, but particularly when the perpetrator is armed.
Elements of Robbery in Indiana
In Indiana, robbery is committed when a person intends to steal or take someone else’s property from the victim’s person or in their presence against their will and by way of violence, intimidation, or threat of force.
As for the amount of force necessary, it doesn’t have to be much. In fact, the amount of force needed to turn a theft into a robbery will often depend upon the individual victim. For example, let’s say 90-year old Gertrude is walking down the street with her new iPhone. Not paying attention, a robber approaches her and puts a gun to her head, demanding that phone. In fear for her life, she turns the phone over to the robber. That situation is clear-cut. We have a completed robbery. But let’s say the robber approaches Gertrude and takes her phone out of her pocket without her knowing. Here, no robbery. Why? Because the robber didn’t use force or intimidation to take her property. He was merely a pickpocket.
Indiana Robbery Laws Overview
The following table provides a basic overview of Indiana’s robbery laws and penalties. If you want to know more about possible defenses available to you, check out FindLaw’s article on robbery defenses.
- Robbery: Level 5 felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Armed Robbery: Level 3 felony punishable by 3 to 16 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Habitual Offender Enhancement Possible?
Yes, see Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-8, on unrelated third felony conviction, can add 1-3 times the presumptive sentence on third felony with a maximum of a 30 year enhancement.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
If you have additional questions about the crime of robbery or other criminal laws in Indiana, click on the following links below:
Charged with Robbery in Indiana? Speak with an Attorney
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with robbery in Indiana, you have some tough decisions to make – especially if you're being charged as a “habitual offender.” Contact a local criminal defense attorney to learn about the laws and the possible sentencing structure you're facing.