Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Judith Samson
If you are facing charges of armed robbery, you may be wondering what that really means. You may also be curious about your future.
So, what is armed robbery?
Armed robbery involves three elements. First, you are being charged with theft, meaning that you are taking something that belongs to someone else.
Second, you must use force. Force doesn’t have to be physical. You can also use force through your actions and words. Threats against a person or property would count as force. You can also destruct property to scare someone. Breaking a window or throwing something to intimidate someone is considered force.
The third element of armed robbery is the weapon. You don’t even have to use it. If you have a weapon, you will be charged for armed robbery. If you are pretending that you have a gun, you could also be charged with armed robbery.
What are the Consequences?
Your consequences will all depend on what type of robbery you are convicted of.
Minnesota Statute Section 609.24 defines a simple robbery. Force is a big part of a simple robbery, whether physical harm is done or not. Threatening to use force will also make a crime a simple robbery. Nobody has to be hurt in order to make it a simple robbery. If convicted, you could end up spending up to ten years in jail, along with a fine that could reach up to twenty thousand dollars.
Aggravated robbery in the first degree is defined by Minnesota Statute Section 609.245, Subdivision 1. To be considered an aggravated robbery in the first degree, a dangerous weapon (or the threat of one) must be used. Though many believe that this only means guns, knives, bats, and pieces of wood and metal are considered dangerous weapons.
If someone is hurt (“bodily harm” is caused), the crime will become an aggravated robbery in the first degree. If convicted, you could spend up to twenty years in jail, along with a fine of up to thirty-five thousand dollars.
Aggravated robbery in the second degree is defined by Minnesota Statute Section 609.245, Subdivision 2. In order to be considered a second degree, you must imply that you have a dangerous weapon with you. It can be as simple as telling someone that you have a knife or a gun so they need to leave you alone. There doesn’t have to be any injuries to be considered a second degree. If convicted, you could spend up to fifteen years in jail, along with a fine up to thirty thousand dollars.
What are some common defenses that you could try?
The most common defense for armed robbery is called a mistake in identity. It is a known fact that eyewitnesses can be unreliable and often accused someone without really looking at them. You could fight your conviction if you weren’t even at the scene.
Many fight an armed robbery charge by saying that their gun was unloaded. They will try to get a theft or robbery charge over an armed one. However, many juries and judges don’t consider this a valid defense. Even if you don’t have bullets, you can still scare someone bad enough to make it an armed robbery.
You can also say that you were not going to use the dangerous weapon that you had. Many people carry pocket knives with them, which automatically upgrades their theft or robbery charge to an armed one.
Because the consequences of armed robbery are so serious, it is important that you have an experienced lawyer by your side. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you get through this difficult time by discussing your case so that we can decide how to proceed!
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