Robbery has all the same elements of a theft crime with the added element of force, threat to commit force, or use of a weapon. Robbery is normally a second degree felony which is punishable by 5 – 10 years in prison. However, it can be escalated to a first degree crime which is punishable by up to 10 – 20 years prison time. A conviction for robbery carries severe consequences such as a presumption of incarceration, term of prison without parole eligibility, and lengthy probation. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall represents clients who have been arrested or accused of robbery in New Jersey. We defend clients charged with robbery throughout Mercer County and surrounding areas such as Hamilton, West Windsor, Hightstown, Bordentown, Ewing, Trenton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, Hopewell, Robbinsville and Princeton. Our team of defense lawyers has well over 100 years of combined experience which we will put to work on your case. To speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys about the facts of your case please give us a call at (609) 683-8102.NJ Robbery Statute 2C:15-1
- Robbery defined. A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:
- Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon another; or
- Threatens another with or purposely puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Commits or threatens immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree.
An act shall be deemed to be included in the phrase “in the course of committing a theft” if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.
- Grading. Robbery is a crime of the second degree, except that it is a crime of the first degree if in the course of committing the theft the actor attempts to kill anyone, or purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury, or is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.
Therefore, in order to prove a robbery, the prosecution must prove four material elements. First, it must be proved that the defendant committed a theft or attempted to commit a theft. Second, it must be proved that defendant inflicted bodily injury, threatened to put in fear of bodily injury, or used force or defendant committed or threatened immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree. Third, it must be proved that this conduct occurred either at the time of the attempted theft, the theft or the immediate flight from the attempt or commission. Fourth, it must be proved that defendant acted purposely except the state need only prove that the infliction of bodily injury, when it is an issue, was inflicted recklessly. Robbery is escalated to 1st Degree armed robbery with the additional element of attempt to kill, serious bodily injury, or threat of a deadly weapon. Serious bodily injury means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. A deadly weapon includes a firearm or other weapon or instrument capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. An imitation firearm or use of a pellet or BB gun operated by a spring action may support a conviction for robbery in the first degree. Robbery is a crime which falls under the No Early Release Act (NERA), which means if you are convicted you must serve a mandatory minimum of 85% of the sentence imposed before being eligible for parole. If a firearm is involved then the Graves Act will also apply.
A mere Shoplifting or Theft can quickly be transformed into a more serious robbery charge as soon as force is used during the course of the offense. We commonly represent clients who have been charged with 2nd Degree Robbery because while committing a shoplifting or fleeing the store thereafter they collide with a security guard trying to stop them or use physical force by struggling to try and get away. Another common example is a mutual fight when a Simple Assault can quickly be escalated to a strong armed robbery when the victim’s phone or money is taken after the fight. This is because the force used must only be greater then what is necessary to remove the property from the victim’s person or control. For example, there is no robbery when the defendant reaches across and slides the victim’s pocketbook off her arm without her noticing. Since the victim was completely surprised and offered no resistance there is no robbery.
Because a robbery is constituted by conduct the components of which are often separate crimes, the issue of merger frequently arises. If the theft is attended by an aggravated assault the crime is first degree robbery and the defendant can not be separately convicted of aggravated assault. Moreover, a conviction for a terroristic threats will merge with a robbery conviction if the threat to kill the victim is made during the course of the robbery to gain the victim’s cooperation.However, a robbery conviction does not merge with a third degree burglary because the offense is completed when the defendant enters the structure with a purpose to commit an offense.In addition, a deadly weapon used during the course of the robbery-burglary will enhance the degree of both offensesand unlawful possession of a firearm without a permit will not merge with a first degree robbery conviction.
If you have been charged with robbery then you are facing mandatory prison time. This is why it is essential that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent your interests. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is comprised of a team of former prosecutors and veteran criminal defense lawyers. Our attorneys evaluate the legal issues and weaknesses of the state’s case in order to work out a favorable disposition for our clients such as non-custodial probation. Contact our Princeton office today to speak with one of our robbery defense lawyers at (609) 683-8102.