Summit Law Offices

Summit Law Offices
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for the island of Maui.
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In Hawaii, there are two elements to the crime of robbery:  1) theft and 2) the use of force or the threat of using force.  If there was a deadly instrument involved the robbery is typically charged as a first degree robbery.  If there was no deadly instrument the robbery is usually charged as second degree robbery.  
In many bank robberies, time is of the essence and a getaway driver and vehicle are used.  The driver is often charged with robbery as well and the question arises as to how a driver can be charged with robbery when he or she was not even in the bank.  
The answer lies in the theory of accomplice liability.  If a person aids another in committing a crime while intending to promote or facilitate it, he or she is an accomplice.  An accomplice can be charged with the underlying crime.  A reasonable defense to accomplice liability is based on the intent requirement.  Since an accomplice must intend to help commit the crime, if the prosecution can not show there was intent, a jury must acquit the defendant.  
Click on the links below for more information about first and second degree robbery.