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.
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