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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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New York Robbery Charges Explained

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 12:55 pm

New York Robbery Charges Explained

Robbery charges in New York can be pretty confusing and intimidating – I get it, believe me. When legal mumbo jumbo is thrown around, it’s hard to understand exactly what you’re being accused of. But don’t worry, I’m here to break it all down in simple terms so you know what’s going on.

First off, robbery in New York basically means taking someone’s property by force. If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, and you use physical force or threaten to use force while doing it – that’s robbery.

Robbery in the Third Degree

This is the least serious robbery charge in New York. You can get this charge if you just forcibly steal someone’s property. For example, if you grab someone’s purse and run away with it. Or if you push someone down and take their wallet. Any kind of forcibly taking someone else’s stuff would qualify as Robbery in the Third Degree.

This charge is a Class D felony under New York law. If convicted, you could face up to 7 years in prison. Not fun at all.

Robbery in the Second Degree

This charge is more serious. For this one, either of these situations need to happen while you’re forcibly stealing the property:

  • You have another person actually there helping you commit the robbery
  • You cause some kind of physical injury to the victim or another person who isn’t involved in the robbery
  • You show what looks like a real gun or other firearm
  • You steal a motor vehicle

This is a Class C felony in New York and carries even tougher penalties – up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Yikes.

Robbery in the First Degree

This is the most serious robbery charge in New York. This applies if you forcibly steal property and during the robbery, you:

  • Cause serious physical injury to someone (not just minor injuries)
  • Have a real deadly weapon on you
  • Use or threaten to use a dangerous instrument
  • Display what appears to be a real gun or firearm

Robbery in the First Degree is a Class B felony and can mean up to 25 years behind bars if found guilty. Not where you want to be.

As you can see, the specific robbery charge depends on what exactly went down during the crime. More violence or weapons means higher charges and stiffer penalties.

Common Defenses Against Robbery Charges

If you’ve been accused of robbery, there are a few defenses that your lawyer may use to fight the charges:

  • Mistaken identity: You can claim you’re being mistaken for the real robber. Eyewitness misidentification is actually a common problem in criminal cases.
  • Duress: This means you only committed the crime because someone threatened you or a loved one with physical harm if you didn’t. This can potentially nullify the charges.
  • Intoxication: You can argue you were so drunk or high that you didn’t know what you were doing, and thus shouldn’t be held fully responsible.
  • False allegations: The alleged victim is lying or making up the charges for some reason. Your lawyer can try to uncover holes in their story.
  • Self-defense: You only took the alleged victim’s property because they attacked or threatened you first. This can justify your actions.

If you or someone you love is facing robbery accusations, don’t go through it alone. Call a lawyer right away. Consultations are usually free. They can assess your case and start working on the best defense. A strong legal defense really is everything when you’re staring down serious criminal penalties.

I hope this breakdown helped explain the robbery laws and process in New York! Let me know if you have any other legal questions. I know this stuff can be confusing but it helps when someone breaks it down into plain English. I’m always happy to help explain in simple terms. After all, that’s my job – making the law less intimidating! Stay strong and keep your head up.

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