Your Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney request your free consultation

Phoenix Robbery Lawyer

Phoenix Mail and Wire Fraud LawyerRobbery offenses fall within the greater umbrella term of theft crimes within Arizona. However, robbery offenses include several different punishment ranges depending on all circumstances of the offense.

Robbery can involve the use of a deadly weapon, or charges may be brought for something as simple as a mistake. If you have been charged with robbery in Arizona, contact a Phoenix robbery lawyer as soon as possible who will work hard to ensure you are not unfairly punished.

Robbery Charges in Arizona

Robbery is defined by Arizona laws as occurring when a defendant threatens or uses force against a person with the intent to coerce the victim to surrender property from the victim’s body or immediate presence. Arizona law classifies robbery as a Class 4 felony.

However, robbery offenses can be heightened to Aggravated Robbery, which occurs when a person has an accomplice present during the course of the Robbery. Aggravated Robbery is a Class 3 Felony. Armed Robbery occurs if either the defendant or defendant’s accomplice is armed with a deadly weapon during the course of the Robbery and is classified as a Class 2 Felony.

Arizona classifies punishment ranges for felony offenses based on prior convictions and outside circumstances. Arizona additionally lists the term of imprisonment as the “presumptive” sentence, although a reduction or increase in sentencing is based on all circumstances of the particular case. The chart below lists the highest sentence one can receive (greater than the presumptive sentence). Aggravating circumstances leading to this heightened sentence can only be applied if at least two of the aggravating circumstances are found to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. Aggravating circumstances include the following (not exclusively):

  • Infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily injury
  • Use, threatened use, or possession of a deadly weapon during a crime
  • Presence of accomplice
  • Cruel or depraved manner in which crime was committed
  • Victim or victim’s family suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm
  • Defendant was a public servant and the crime involved conduct directly related to the defendant’s office or employment

The following table lists the maximum punishment available for the previously listed offenses:

Crime Punishment without prior conviction 1 Prior Conviction 2 Prior Convictions
Robbery (Class 4 Felony) Up to 3.75 years in prison Up to 16.25 years in prison Up to 25 years in prison
Armed Robbery (Class 2 Felon) Up to 21 years in prison Up to 28 years in prison Up to 35 years in prison


It is clear that Arizona takes robbery charges very seriously, and any heightened robbery charges involve a minimum of a prison sentence rather than the option of probation or fines. In these types of cases, a Phoenix criminal attorney can help you fight the charges if you have been falsely accused of a violent crime.

Viable Defenses in Robbery Cases

Most robbery cases are open-and-shut, thanks to the evidence available to prosecutors including security camera footage, eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, and the victim’s claims. However, there are some instances in which a defendant in a robbery case can avoid criminal charges. Some of the few viable defenses to robbery charges include:

  • Mistaken identity, or innocence. “I didn’t do it” is the most common criminal defense for all types of charges, but a defendant in a robbery case will need to rely on physical evidence and eyewitness testimony to prove such a defense. Many people look alike, and a defendant may argue mistaken identity. It’s possible, however unlikely and inadvisable, for a defendant to simply wait for a prosecution’s case to fall apart for lack of evidence. If the prosecution cannot meet the burden of proof in the case, the defendant may escape the charges.
  • Involuntary intoxication. A defendant will likely escape all criminal penalties if he or she can prove involuntary intoxication. For example, John is at a house party when someone slips something into his drink, causing him to blackout. During his stupor, he attacks another partygoer and steals his wallet, technically constituting robbery. If John can prove that someone spiked his drink, he can claim that the robbery would never have occurred if not for involuntary intoxication.
  • Voluntary intoxication. Following the previous example, if no one spiked John’s drink and he instead voluntarily drank to excess and committed a robbery, he may be able to argue down to lesser charges by proving lack of intent, or that the robbery would not have occurred if not for the intoxication.
  • If a law enforcement officer or other person compelled someone to commit a robbery he or she would have otherwise not committed, the defendant may argue entrapment as a defense. However, entrapment is very difficult to prove. In some cases, the alleged victim may have coerced the defendant into committing a robbery for some reason. Any intent to commit robbery on the part of the defendant will nullify entrapment as a defense.
  • Compulsion or duress. If a person committed a robbery due to a threat of bodily injury or death from another person, he or she can use this is a defense against robbery charges. For example, Dan’s brother is in a gang, and the other gang members tell Dan that if he doesn’t rob a store to join the gang, they will kill him. In this case, if Dan’s brother commits the robbery to save his own life, he is acting under duress. If the defendant had ample opportunity to avoid committing the robbery or escaping the coercive influence, then this defense will fall flat.

Why Do I Need a Defense Attorney?

A person facing robbery charges may wonder why hiring a defense attorney is preferable to sticking with a public defender. While a private defense attorney will cost much more in legal fees, he or she will likely provide a much better defense than a public defender. While the vast majority of public defenders are competent legal professionals capable of successfully defending clients, most juggle multiple cases at a time and have very little personal investment in a client’s success.

Considering the fact that Arizona imposes harsher penalties for repeat offenders, it’s vital to try and beat any type of criminal charge, no matter how small. Arizona has very stringent Even a misdemeanor offense that only leads to a fine can come back to haunt you later if you find yourself facing more severe charges. A judge may use your prior conviction as an excuse to maximize your punishment or escalate your charges to felony status.

An experienced criminal defense attorney in a robbery case will do everything possible to poke holes in a prosecutor’s case, such as by dismantling circumstantial evidence, providing eyewitness testimony that contradicts the prosecution’s claims, or by establishing the defendant’s alibi.

Orent Law Office | Phoenix Robbery Lawyer in Arizona

If you have been accused of the crime of robbery or any of its heightened crimes, do not despair. In Arizona, an arrest is not yet a conviction, and an experienced Phoenix defense attorney can help ensure that your record is not tarnished. Attorney Craig Orent at Orent Law Offices has over 33 years of experience as a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer and works tirelessly to drop or reduce robbery charges. Contact our Phoenix law office today so we can begin forming a defense strategy for your case.

Related Pages