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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:17 pm
Here at the Spodek Law Group, we often explain to folks that robbery isn’t as simple as you might think. Most folks like you, associate the concept of robbery primarily with taking money or personal effects from somebody’s possession. It’s also common for individuals to presume that if a weapon or any kind of intimidation tool has been utilized, the crime easily escalates to aggravated or armed robbery.
When you find yourself on the receiving end of a robbery charge, there’s a critical component that the courts are looking for. A victim must’ve been present at the time the crime took place. The so-called victim will have felt threatened with bodily harm or perhaps suffered
an injury inflicted by the defendant. Picture this – someone sneaks up on you from behind and demands your wallet or some other valuable you possess. You suspect the assailant possesses a gun or another form of weapon and surrender your wallet.
This would be a considered a robbery. But let’s say the perpetrator indeed had a gun, then it’s likely to be elevated to armed or aggravated robbery.
Robbery, as an offense, has its roots firmly planted within venerable English laws, some crusty from antiquity. Many jurisdictions continue to include definitions of robbery within their penal sodalities, FindLaw tells us. These often adhere to the tradition of the common law definition from times of old, where English laws were the order of the day.
Stepping into the drawing rooms of courtrooms, you’ll hear the word “elements” thrown around a lot when discussing a robbery charge. And do remember, each state brings its own shade of nuance to defining robbery. With all manners of punishments that can be served for differing charges, based on those intriguing twists of statutes that each state brings to bear. So the brass tacks here are — the ingredients or elements of robbery include;
A seizing, with an intent to filch personal property from a person, against that person’s consent, accomplished by way of violence, intimidation or a threat of violence. So, to put it succinctly, robbery involves taking someone’s property via threats or acts of violence.
There is an inherent timeline to robbery charges since a shadow of violence needs to be looming, agrees FindLaw. Imagine the criminal only resorts to violence when scarpering from the scene after discovery, then it talks to charges being more likely related to resisting arrest or larceny than robbery.
There’s a pecking order when it comes to robbery, and it would hold you in good stead to remember. A first-degree robbery is generally put away as a felony. But, admittedly, things could get grimmer if you’re caught with a weapon, attempt to take a life or inflict serious bodily harm. It gets elevated to a first-degree felony. Now imagine this action taking place within the confines of a bank. You’ve just waltzed right into a federal crime, with more stringent penalties thrown in for the ride.
Penalties for a robbery conviction change like the wind, based on the state you’re tried in and the seriousness of the misdeed. Courts also peek into your scrapbook of past criminal foibles. You’ll find most states operate with a sliding scale of penalties on offer based on the specific offenses committed. This is often in the shape of a range (e.g. 2-3 years) versus a solitary, carved-in-stone punishment (e.g. 4 years).
In the face of a robbery charge, you should tap the expertise of an attorney like Todd Spodek at the Spodek Law Group. A savvy attorney will project a spotlight on your past and the circumstances leading up to the charge. Exonerating alibis and even accidental bouts of intoxication may serve as bulwarks in your defense. Ta-ra for now!
Understanding the True Nature of Robberies
Many people assume that robbery simply involves the act of stealing something from another person. However, the term encompasses much more than that, as it often involves the use of a weapon or a threat. Specifically, when a weapon is involved, the crime is typically considered armed robbery or aggravated robbery. To charge someone with robbery, a fundamental requirement is the presence of a victim being threatened or injured by the defendant, causing them to surrender their belongings. The rich history of robbery in the United States, as well as its various forms and consequences, can be traced back to old English laws.
Different states may have specific definitions of robbery in their penal codes. However, common law definitions usually still dominate and entail certain core elements. According to FindLaw, these essential elements include the taking, with the intent to steal, of personal property from a person against their will by using either violence or intimidation and a threat of violence. To summarize, robbery involves taking someone’s belongings by employing the threat of violence or an actual violent act.
Timing plays a significant role when examining robbery charges since the element of violence must be present. If the perpetrator only uses violence while attempting to escape after being discovered, then the charges may involve resisting arrest or larceny instead of robbery.
Even a minimal amount of violence can result in a robbery charge if it is present during the crime. The extent of violence needed to elevate a theft charge to robbery varies based on the context and the victim’s perception. Once the perpetrator uses even the slightest amount of violence or threat to force victims to relinquish their possessions, a robbery has occurred.
There are multiple degrees of robbery, with first-degree robbery typically seen as a felony. This degree can be elevated to a first-degree felony if a weapon is involved, if the defendant attempts to murder someone, or if someone sustains a severe injury. Federal robbery occurs if the victim is a bank, qualifying the crime as a federal offense that often results in more severe punishment.
Understanding the Penalties Linked to Robberies
The penalties associated with robbery charges depend on various factors, including the state, the crime’s severity, and the defendant’s criminal history. Most states apply a range of punishments, allowing judges to exercise discretion in their sentencing decisions. Apart from imprisonment, defendants might be ordered to pay restitution to the victim and fines to the state. Additional potential consequences include community service and probation, albeit rarely.
When charged with robbery, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney, such as one from Spodek Law Group. The attorney will assess the defendant’s history and the factors contributing to the robbery charge, employing various defenses if possible. For instance, if the attorney can provide an alibi, they may use a defense of innocence. Intoxication might also be employed as a defense if the defendant was unaware of their actions at the time of the robbery.
It is essential to recognize the intricacies of robbery cases, including the diverse definitions, classifications, penalties, and defense strategies. By understanding these complexities, individuals can better protect themselves and adequately navigate the legal system in the unfortunate event of facing a robbery charge. Regardless of the situation, it is highly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure the best possible outcome in each case.
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