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Michigan Robbery Laws

When you take someone's property with the intent to deprive the owner of their property rights, it's considered a larceny or a theft. When you add the element of violence, force, intimidation, or threats, then the offense constitutes robbery. Because the additional element of force and violence brings potential for death or great bodily injury, robbery is treated as a more serious offense than theft.

All robbery crimes in Michigan are classified as felonies. A major distinction in robbery offenses is whether the offense included a weapon of some sort since the presence of a weapon elevates the charges of the crime. For example, an individual who pushes a person and violently grabs her purse out of her hands has committed an unarmed robbery. What happens if instead of just grabbing the woman's purse, the individual points a gun at her and demands the purse? The latter offense is considered an armed robbery because of the inclusion of the gun and carries stricter penalties than an unarmed robbery.

Michigan Robbery Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to Michigan's robbery laws, including links to important code sections.


  • Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.530 (Robbery)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.529 (Armed robbery)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.529a (Carjacking)


Robbery: Anyone who is in the process of committing a larceny (theft) and uses force or violence against the person present, assaults the person, or puts the person in fear is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years. The crime includes acts that occur:

  • During the attempt of a larceny
  • During the larceny itself
  • After flight or fleeing or attempt to flee the scene of the larceny
  • When trying to retain possession of the property

Armed Robbery: Armed robbery carries a penalty of a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. This offense combines robbery coupled with the robber committing the following actions:

  • Possesses a dangerous weapon; or
  • Uses an article in a way that leads a person to reasonably believe that the article is a dangerous weapon; or
  • Says that they have a weapon or otherwise represents that they have a weapon.

Carjacking: Anyone who commits larceny of a motor vehicle with the use of force or puts the driver, passenger of the car in fear, is guilty of a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Possible Defenses

  • Entrapment
  • Duress
  • Mistaken identity

Related Offenses

  • Larceny: Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.356
  • Assault with intent to rob (unarmed): Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.88
  • Assault with intent to rob (armed): Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.89

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.

Michigan Robbery Laws: Related Resources

Connect with a Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Robbery Issues

If you've been accused of robbery or carjacking then you'll likely want to connect with a skilled attorney who can assist with your strategic legal defense. Find a Michigan criminal defense attorney in your area today to learn more.

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