According to New York Penal Code Article 160, robbery is defined when an individual uses threat of physical force to take property from another individual. The difference between theft and robbery is that force or threat of force must be used to carry out the act. To be charged with robbery, the prosecution must establish that the accused committed larceny and threatened or used physical force against another individual to take property.
There are three degrees of charges for robbery in New York. Robbery in the third degree is when an individual uses threats of physical force to take another individual’s property. There must not be any other aggravating factors to be charged with robbery in the third degree.
Robbery in the second degree is when an individual forcibly takes property of another individual and is aided by an accomplice. Furthermore, an individual can also be charged with robbery in the second degree if he or she caused physical injury to another individual who was not a participant in the criminal act or uses what appears to be a revolver, rifle, pistol, machine gun, or shotgun. If the property taken was a motor vehicle, the accused will be charged with robbery in the second degree.
An individual can be charged with robbery in the first degree when he or she causes serious physical harm to any individual who was not a participant in the criminal act. When a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon was used to forcefully take property from another individual, the accused will be charged with robbery in the first degree.
What are the Penalties for a Robbery Conviction in New York?
Each robbery degree will correspond with a different class of felony. If an individual is charged with robbery in the third degree, he or she will face a Class D non-violent felony. While this is the least serious of robbery offenses in New York, it still carries a heavy penalty. Those who are convicted of robbery in the third degree will face a sentence that can range from two to seven years in prison.
Robbery in the second degree is a class C violent felony. An individual who is convicted of a Class C violent felony must serve between three and a half to 15 years in prison. Those who are convicted of a Class C felony may also have to go through a probation period once they have served their prison sentence.
Robbery in the first degree is a Class B violent felony. Individuals who are first time offenders without a criminal history will face a sentence of five years in prison. The maximum sentence for this offense is 25 years in prison, but the sentence could be longer if the accused is a repeat robbery offender.
Possible Defenses to a Robbery Charge
For a conviction, it is the burden of the prosecuting attorney to provide evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of robbery. There are numerous defense strategies that can be used to fight a robbery charge that include:
Furthermore, for first-degree robbery charge, if a firearm was used during the robbery that was not loaded or capable of being discharged, then the defendant could be charged with a lesser degree of robbery.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney for a Robbery Charge
If you have been charged with robbery, it is important not to upset the arresting officer, and you should remain silent until you have legal representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and help you develop a solid defense.
Have you or someone you know been arrested and charged for robbery? Contact our law firm to schedule a consultation. We are a team of legal experts with more than 100 years of combined experience.
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