When a person is charged with attempted robbery, he is accused of having the intention to unlawfully take property he does not own. For some reason, an actual robbery did not occur, but notable progress was made. Trying, therefore, is still considered a criminal offense and conviction is usually a felony. There are some circumstances that may aggravate such a charge, resulting in a harsher judgment.
There are generally several elements involved in an attempted robbery. To begin with, a person accused of this crime must have tried to take property that belongs to someone else without the owner's permission. That property may have been on a victim's person, such as in her hand or her pocketbook. Attempted robbery can also involve items not on but still owned by a victim, such as those in an office or in a vehicle.
Attempted robbery also tends to involve the stipulation that the accused had no intention of returning the item. If, for example, a person had a tendency to secretly take office supplies belonging to a co-worker and to return them afterward, then although there was a lack of permission granted by the owner, it does not generally constitute robbery. An unsuccessful attempt at such behavior, therefore, would not constitute attempted robbery.
To be convicted of attempted robbery, the prosecution usually must show that a person came very close to completing the crime. This is often done by highlighting the circumstances of the attempt. Generally, the reason that robbery was not fully executed is beyond the control of the person charged with the crime.
For example, a person may have entered a house with the intention to commit robbery. An alarm may have signaled police and the accused may have fled before he took anything because he saw the patrol car. In many instances, the circumstances contribute to how harshly the crime will be judged.
One common misconception about this crime is that it requires the use of weapons. In most jurisdictions, the criminal code makes no such reference when outlining the elements of the crime. The consequences are often more severe, however, if innocent people are subjected to potentially dangerous situations or if they are harmed when the crime is executed.
Conviction of attempted robbery in most places is a felony. Usually, the consequences for this crime are less severe than those that would be issued for an actual robbery. There are still significant chances that if a person is found guilty he will be incarcerated.