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NYC Robbery Criminal Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | November 12, 2016

When you think about a robbery, you probably think about someone entering a home or a business and using a weapon in order to take something that belongs to someone else. While this is the basic definition of a robbery, there are other components of the crime to consider as well. If you have been charged with any kind of robbery, an attorney can look at the reason for the crime and the methods that were involved to try to get the sentence reduced if at all possible. It’s best to have an attorney to help you so that you understand the consequences of the crime and what the future could hold in regards to fines and jail time.
There are a few things that set robbery apart from a simple theft. Robbery is when someone takes another person’s belongings while in the victim’s presence, and there is a force of violence or a threat of violence with the act. Physically taking something from a person’s hands can be the definition of a robbery. Another scenario would be if the person steal a wallet from someone’s purse while the purse is hanging on the back of a chair and the woman is in the seat. This would classify as robbery because it is taking the item while the victim is present. If something is stolen from a home while no one is home, then it wouldn’t be a robbery because it wouldn’t be in the presence of the victim.
The other component of robbery is that violence has to be used in some manner. It could also be the simple threat that the person is going to use some kind of violence to take the item from the victim. State laws vary as to the definition of the amount of force that has to be used when charging a specific degree of robbery, but most states adhere to the same basic rules when filing charges. Any physical force is considered when robbery is concerned, such as kicking or punching. Snatching the property from the victim and threatening the victim are also things that an officer will look at when filing charges for robbery. If the person is in fear of harm, then a robbery has occurred. The threat doesn’t have to be anything exactly stated. The person could simply indicate that there is a weapon in a pocket or that there will be a use of force by pulling back an arm in order for a robbery to take place.
There are several categories when it comes to robbery. One is a home invasion. The person would enter a home when someone is present and take personal belongings. A carjacking is the taking of a vehicle from the driver with force or violence. Some people commit robberies against certain classes, such as cab drivers or those who use an ATM on a regular basis. Armed robbery is when a weapon, such as a gun or a knife, is involved. Any object that could be used to cause harm to someone is considered a weapon when robbery is concerned.
In most cases, robbery is considered a felony. You could spend up to a year in prison. The length of time in jail usually doesn’t depend on the value of the items that were taken, but any fines that need to be paid are sometimes based on the value of the possessions. A sentence of 10 to 20 years for an aggravated or armed robbery is not unheard of in most states. An attorney will help guide you as to whether the charges could get reduced or if you should take a plea bargain.
Difference between robbery and larceny in New York
Stealing and robbing seem to be pretty similar, and they are, but there are some key differences involved. In order to show you those differences we’re going to look at what robbing is and then what stealing (or larceny) is in language that’s simple and concise. Then you should easily be able to tell the difference between the two.
Robbery; defined.
Okay. First, let’s get into the definition of robbery so we know what it is we’re working with here. Put plain and simple, robbery is forcible stealing. Now you forcibly steal property and commit robbery when you ise or threaten the use of force on someone else while trying to commit larceny, all for the purpose of preventing the taking of property or compelling the owner of the property or someone else to deliver the property or otherwise engage in some sort of conduct that helps in the commission of larceny.
Robbery in the third degree.
Good, we’ve gotten the definition out of the way. Now that we’ve done that, let’s look at the charge of robbery in the third degree. In order to be guilty of that, you’d have to forcibly steal property. This crime is a class D felony.
Robbery in the second degree.
Robbery in the second degree is similar to the third degree, but with the addition of being helped by someone who’s present, or if while stealing whatever you’re stealing you cause injury to someone who isn’t participating in the crime, or display what looks like some sort of firearm, or if the property is a motor vehicle. Robbery in the second degree is considered a class C felony.
Robbery in the first degree.
Now we have the most serious charge of robbery. This happens when you commit all of the above, and then in addition also are armed with a deadly weapon, or threaten the use of a dangerous instrument, or display what looks like a firearm. It’s important to note that it is in fact an affirmative defense that this firearm wasn’t a loaded weapon, and couldn’t fire a shot even if you wanted to. Nothing in this provision, however, can constitute a defense for any of the robbery charges, or really any other crime. This one is considered a class B felony.
Larceny; defined.
Now that we’ve taken a detailed look at what robbery is, let’s look over what larceny (stealing) is so you can compare the two in your mind. Now a person steals property and commits larceny when they wrongfully take property from someone else with the intent to deprive them of said property. Larceny also includes the wrongful taking done by conduct known as common law larceny by any other means under the law, or also by acquiring lost property. Someone acquires lost property when they exercise control over the property of someone else that they know was lost or misplaced. You can also be guilty of this by committing the crime of issuing a bad check, or else by false promise.
Now as far as obtaining property by false promise goes, this applies when you obtain someone else’s property with the intent to defraud. In a prosecution for larceny that’s based on a false promise, the defendant’s actual intention or else belief that the promise wouldn’t be performed can’t be established from that fact alone. This finding can be based only on evidence that establishes facts of the case are consistent with guilty intent and completely inconsistent with innocent intent, and “excluding to a moral certainty” every hypothesis except the defendant’s intention or belief that the promise wouldn’t be performed. That, or else if it was obtained by extortion.
Now in order to obtain property by extortion, you’d have to compel or induce someone else to deliver property to yourself or someone else by instilling in them a fear that if the property isn’t delivered, someone will cause injury to someone in the future, cause damage to property, engage in some kind of crime, accuse someone of a crime, expose some kind of secret whether true or false, cause a strike or boycott, testify against someone else, use or abuse your position as a public servant and act outside of your official duties, or perform really any other act that’s been calculated to harm someone else whether by health or some other means.

Robbery and larceny are both crimes involving taking property from someone else, but there are key differences between the two. Robbery is defined as forcible stealing, involving the use or threat of force on someone while attempting to commit larceny. This can range from robbery in the third degree, which is a class D felony, to robbery in the first degree, which is a class B felony and involves being armed with a deadly weapon or displaying a firearm. Larceny, on the other hand, refers to the wrongful taking of property from someone else with the intent to deprive them of it, which can include acquiring lost property, issuing a bad check, or obtaining property by false promise or extortion.

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