New York Robbery Attorney
The crime of robbery involves the theft of property by use of force, threat, or fear. While all forms of theft involve the taking of another person’s property, robbery by definition adds the element of violence. Because robbery is considered a crime of violence, it is taken very seriously in the state of New York and can lead to very harsh penalties. From their office in Goshen, the New York criminal defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. help people throughout the Hudson Valley and Orange County who have been charged with robbery.
Elements and Degrees of Robbery
New York’s robbery laws are codified at Penal Law Article 160. The base offense of robbery involves the use of physical force or the threat of physical force to steal the property of another. The force or threat can be used to obtain the property in the first instance or to retain the property once stolen. Aggravating circumstances can trigger a more serious degree of robbery, with harsher penalties.
The base offense of robbery is called Robbery in the Third Degree, and it is punishable as a class D felony. Robbery in the Second Degree is triggered when a person forcibly steals and:
- Is aided by another person physically present; or
- While committing robbery or fleeing, the defendant or an accomplice (a) causes physical injury to an innocent bystander, or (b) displays what appears to be a firearm; or
- The property stolen is a motor vehicle.
Robbery in the First Degree is reserved for robbery involving the use or threatened use of deadly force. Robbery in the First Degree is triggered when, during the commission of robbery or while fleeing the crime, the defendant or another participant:
- Causes serious physical injury to an innocent bystander; or
- Is armed with a deadly weapon; or
- Uses or threatens the use of a “dangerous instrument”; or
- Displays a firearm that is actually capable of being fired.
Punishment for Robbery
The range of punishments for robbery depends on the degree of the offense. Robbery in the Third Degree is a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years imprisonment. Third-degree robbery carries no mandatory minimum sentence. Robbery in the Second Degree is a class C felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum three-and-a-half years imprisonment and by a maximum of fifteen years. Robbery in the First Degree is a class B felony which carries a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty years in prison.
Defending Against Robbery Charges
A dedicated New York robbery defense lawyer can help you build a defense against robbery charges. You may be able to demonstrate that the property that was taken actually belonged to you, or that you sincerely believed the property was yours, negating the requisite intent. You may be able to prove that no actual force or threat of force was used, so that the most serious crime applicable would be larceny.
You may also be able to defend against the more severe robbery charges by negating the aggravating elements. A defendant charged with robbery in the First Degree based on possession of a firearm, for example, can affirmatively argue that the gun was a toy gun or otherwise incapable of actually firing. If proven, this will reduce the charges to Second Degree robbery. Unfortunately, the use of a fake gun does not cancel out the crime entirely; the statute is worded to specifically include threats using what “appears to be” a firearm.
Prosecutors love to charge defendants with the most serious crime possible, but they are often willing to knock the charges down a degree depending on the nature and circumstances of the crime and the defendant. A zealous New York criminal defense attorney can help you negotiate with the prosecution in order to mitigate your charges or recommended sentence. If a good plea deal is possible, we will help you get it. If a plea is not your best option, we will fight your case all the way through trial and beyond.
Help is Available for Your New York Robbery Arrest
The lawyers at Dupée & Monroe have decades of experience helping people like you build the strongest defense possible against robbery charges. If you have been arrested for robbery or other offenses in Goshen, Orange County or anywhere in the Hudson Valley region, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. for immediate assistance from experienced criminal defense attorneys.