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Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
Article 122—Robbery
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“Any person subject to this chapter who with intent to steal takes anything of value from the person or in the presence of another, against his will, by means of force or violence or fear of immediate or future injury to his person or property or to the person or property of a relative or member of his family or of anyone in his company at the time of the robbery, is guilty of robbery and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”


(1) That the accused wrongfully took certain property from the person or from the possession and in the presence of a person named or described;

(2) That the taking was against the will of that person;

(3) That the taking was by means of force, violence, or force and violence, or putting the person in fear of immediate or future injury to that person, a relative, a member of the person’s family, anyone accompanying the person at the time of the robbery, the person’s property, or the property of a relative, family member, or anyone accompanying the person at the time of the robbery;

(4) That the property belonged to a person named or described;

(5) That the property was of a certain or of some value; and

(6) That the taking of the property by the accused was with the intent permanently to deprive the person robbed of the use and benefit of the property. Note: If the robbery was committed with a firearm, add the following element

(7) That the means of force or violence or of putting the person in fear was a firearm.


(1) Taking in the presence of the victim. It is not necessary that the property taken be located within any certain distance of the victim. If persons enter a house and force the owner by threats to disclose the hiding place of valuables in an adjoining room, and, leaving the owner tied, go into that room and steal the valuables, they have committed robbery.

(2) Force or violence. For a robbery to be committed by force or violence, there must be actual force or violence to the person, preceding or accompanying the taking against the person’s will, and it is immaterial that there is no fear engendered in the victim. Any amount of force is enough to constitute robbery if the force overcomes the actual resistance of the person robbed, puts the person in such a position that no resistance is made, or suffices to overcome the resistance offered by a chain or other fastening by which the article is attached to the person. The offense is not robbery if an article is merely snatched from the hand of another or a pocket is picked by stealth, no other force is used, and the owner is not put in fear. But if resistance is overcome in snatching the article, there is sufficient violence, as when an earring is torn from a person’s ear. There is sufficient violence when a person’s attention is diverted by being jostled by a confederate of a pickpocket, who is thus enabled to steal the person’s watch, even though the person had no knowledge of the act; or when a person is knocked insensible and that person’s pockets rifled; or when a guard steals property from the person of a prisoner in the guard’s charge after handcuffing the prisoner on the pretext of preventing escape.

(3) Fear. For a robbery to be committed by putting the victim in fear, there need be no actual force or violence, but there must be a demonstration of force or menace by which the victim is placed in such fear that the victim is warranted in making no resistance. The fear must be a reasonable apprehension of present or future injury, and the taking must occur while the apprehension exists. The injury apprehended may be death or bodily injury to the person or to a relative or family member, or to anyone in the person’s company at the time, or it may be the destruction of the person’s habitation or other property or that of a relative or family member or anyone in the person’s company at the time of sufficient gravity to warrant giving up the property demanded by the assailant.

(4) Larceny by taking. Robbery includes “taking with intent to steal”; hence, a larceny by taking is an integral part of a charge of robbery and must be proved at the trial. See paragraph 46c(1).

(5) Multiple-victim robberies. Robberies of different persons at the same time and place are separate offenses and each such robbery should be alleged in a separate specification.

Lesser included offenses.

(1) Article 121—larceny

(2) Article 121—wrongful appropriation

(3) Article 128—assault; assault consummated by a battery

(4) Article 128—assault with a dangerous weapon

(5) Article 128—assault intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm

(6) Article 134—assault with intent to rob

(7) Article 80—attempts Note: More than one lesser included offense may be found in an appropriate case because robbery is a compound offense. For example, a person may be found not guilty of robbery but guilty of wrongful appropriation and assault.

Maximum punishment.

(1) When committed with a firearm. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 15 years.

(2) Other cases. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

Next Article > Article 123—Forgery >

Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 47


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