Robbery 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 use of a deadly weapon, or charges may be brought for something as simple as a mistaken taking. If you have been charged with robbery in Arizona, contact Phoenix robbery lawyer as soon as possible who will work hard to ensure you are not unfairly punished.
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 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):
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 prison sentence rather than the option of probation or fines.
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:
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. 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.
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 criminal record is not tarnished. Attorney Craig Orent at Orent Law Offices has over 25 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.