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Missouri Robbery Laws

If you take someone's property without their permission and don't intend to give it back to them, you've committed theft. However, if you don't just take their property, but you also threaten or intimidate them with force or violence until they give you the item, then you've committed robbery. Both crimes are considered serious, but the added element of force makes robbery a much more severe offense.

Missouri recognizes robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree; the degree correlates to the amount of force used in the robbery. Robbery in the first degree is equivalent to aggravated robbery in other states. A classic example is when a person holds a convenience store clerk at gunpoint and demands the money from the register. The use of force is still present in robbery in the second degree, but no deadly weapon is present or implied and the victim is injured, but not seriously.

An Explanation of Missouri Robbery Laws

A useful way to supplement your legal research is by reading a jargon-free version of the relevant statutes. The chart below is an example of this and explains Missouri's robbery laws using simple language.


Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 570.023 (First Degree Robbery)
  • Section 570.025 (Second Degree Robbery)

Elements of the Crime



First Degree Robbery: The actor forcibly steals property and during the act of stealing commits the following:

  • Causes serious physical injury to any person; or
  • Possesses a deadly weapon; or
  • Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument against any person; or
  • Displays or threatens the use of what appears to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
  • Steals any controlled substance from a pharmacy.

Second Degree Robbery: The actor forcibly steals property and during the act, causes physical injury to another person.

Possible Penalties

The penalties can include a range of prison time and fines, but the actual penalties depend on individual factors such as criminal history of the defendant. The following are general guidelines of penalties for committing robbery.

Robbery in the first degree is a Class A felony, punishable by a prison term ranging from 10-30 years.

Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony, punishable by a prison term ranging from 5-15 years.

Related Offenses

Missouri Revised Statutes:

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(so) you are researching.

Missouri Robbery Laws: Related Resources

Discuss Missouri Robbery Charges with an Attorney

Violating Missouri's robbery laws can result in severe penalties including imprisonment. Anytime your liberty is at stake, you should act in your best interests and discuss your case with a skilled lawyer who can put up a strategic defense on your behalf. Contact a criminal defense attorney near you immediately if you're facing charges.

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