Robbery Criminal Defense
Robbery is a form of theft where the assailant committing the crime attempts to remove money or possession(s) from an individual forcibly or by threat of force. Robbery is different from the separate crime of larceny in its additional requirement of the threat of physical force upon the owner or possessor of the property that is being stolen.
- Types of Robbery:
There are multiple types of robberies that any person can be convicted of in a court of law. They all share the same similarity in that a person take someone else’s possession for their own that they are not permitted to have. The types of robberies are:
• Armed robbery: involves the use of a weapon (bat)
• Aggravated robbery: involves the use of a deadly weapon (gun/knife)
• Highway robbery: usually takes place in a public space such as a sidewalk, street, or parking lot.
• Carjacking: stealing a car from an individual with force
- Penalties & Punishment:
• First degree: A first degree robbery charge is when the victim or someone else not involved in the crime is seriously injured. First degree robbery may also take place if the perpetrator is armed with a deadly weapon and threatens to use it against the victim. This carries a maximum sentence of twenty five years.
• Second degree: A person is guilty of second degree robbery if they commit the act with an accomplice present. Second degree robbery may also happen if the perpetrator causes an injury to a person not involved in the crime or uses a gun, knife or other deadly weapon. The penalty for second degree assault can carry a sentence of up to fifteen years.
• Third degree: Third degree robbery occurs when a criminal uses force or an offensive weapon to take someone else’s property. Third degree robbery may result in up to seven years of jail time.
- Successful Defenses:
• Innocence: A robbery defendant could offer evidence that they were somewhere else, or that they had attended an event at the time of the robbery and could provide several witnesses to validate that fact.
• Entrapment: If someone compels the defendant into committing a robbery that they would not have committed otherwise, the defendant could have an entrapment defense.
• Duress: Duress is where the defendant was forced to commit the crime under threats of severe physical injury or death.
- Difference between State and Federal statutes:
Most robberies fall under the state statues but one special robbery is under a federal statue. The type of robbery governed by federal jurisdiction is a bank robbery. Any robbery or attempted robbery of a bank, credit union or savings and loan institution constitutes a federal crime. The federal government also has jurisdiction over robberies that affect commerce or goods being transported. The most common example of this is the hijacking of a truck full of commerce being transported across state lines.
- High profile cases:
The Dunbar Armored robbery is the largest cash robbery to happen in the United States. It occurred in September 1997 with the help of a former employee by the name of Allen Pace. He enlisted five friends and used his knowledge of the facilities to steal over 18 million dollars. One of the members make a crucial mistake and gave a real estate broker cash still wrapped in the original bands after the robbery. The police were alerted and everyone involved were arrested. Allen pace was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the robbery.