The criminal charge of robbery differs substantially from most theft offenses. A conviction requires evidence of more than just the unlawful taking of property. A robbery conviction also requires some type of threat or use of force in an effort to take the property of another person. The short answer to the question, is robbery a felony Minneapolis and Minnesota, is yes.
Because this offense inherently involves violence or the threat of violence, it is considered one of the more serious criminal offenses under state law. Even the lowest form of robbery offense under state law—simple robbery—is considered a felony. The same is true for more serious offenses.
If you are facing felony robbery charges in Minnesota, all is not lost. These cases can be defensible, and our office understands how to fight back against the prosecution during a robbery case. Contact a Minneapolis robbery charges lawyer of Gerald Miller today to learn more.
Types of Felony Robbery Offenses in Minneapolis and Minnesota
The offense of robbery is divided into three distinct criminal offenses under state law. These offenses are referred to as simple robbery, aggravated robbery in the second degree, and aggravated robbery in the first degree.
Simple Robbery in Minneapolis and Minnesota
The lowest-level robbery offense under state law is referred to as simple robbery. Despite its name, this is a serious offense that can lead to as much as 10 years in state prison. Simple robbery is defined by Minnesota Statute Section 609.24. According to the statute, the crime of simple robbery involves the attempted taking of another person’s property through the use or threat of force. An attempt alone is enough for a robbery conviction; the state does not have to prove you successfully obtained the property. The use of force can come in many forms including pushing, grabbing, punching, or kicking another person. Verbal threats and gestures that indicate you intend to use force take the property of another person also qualifies.
Aggravated Robbery in the Second Degree in Minneapolis and MN
Aggravated robbery in the second degree is one step up from simple robbery. Also a felony, a conviction could result in as much as 15 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $35,000.
Aggravated robbery in the second degree is defined by Minnesota Statute Section 609.245. This offense is used when a person implies that they have a deadly weapon without showing or using it.
Minnesota Aggravated Robbery in the First Degree
If you’re asking is robbery a felony, know that the most serious of these offenses is aggravated robbery in the first degree. This offense carries a maximum of 20 years in state prison as well as a fine of up to $35,000. Aggravated robbery involves the use of a deadly weapon during the course of a robbery. These dangerous weapons include not only firearms but also bats, knives, or even automobiles. This offense is also appropriate when the complaining witness is injured during the course of the crime.
Favorable Outcomes in a Robbery Case
There are a number of potentially favorable outcomes that could result from your robbery case. While some of these outcomes are better than others, determining whether a specific result is your best option will depend on the facts of the case.
Avoid Charges Entirely
Not all robbery arrests occur when a person is in the midst of the alleged act. It is not uncommon for a person to know they are under investigation of robbery well before they are ever charged with a crime.
This could be a positive situation in some ways, as an attorney could reach out to the prosecutor before a criminal charge is filed. In some cases, it could be possible for the attorney to present a defense that is strong enough to convince the prosecutor not to pursue the charge. This is by far the best outcome in a robbery investigation.
Dismissal of the Charges
If you have already been arrested on felony charges for robbery in Minnesota, the best possible outcome that remains is a dismissal of all charges. If your case is dismissed, you can walk away from court without any risk of a conviction.
There are different types of dismissals, however. If the dismissal is with prejudice, the state can never bring this particular robbery case against you again. If the state dismisses the case against you without prejudice, they have an opportunity file charges again.
The state is not going to simply dismiss criminal charges against you by asking nicely. Instead, dismissals occur when the state understands that their evidence is flawed or likely to be thrown out in court. Our firm could work tirelessly to help you secure a dismissal of all the criminal charges you are currently facing.
Reducing criminal charges is a powerful option for prosecutors. Sometimes the reduction in charges is made pursuant to a plea bargain, while other situations result in reduced charges because the prosecutor acknowledged that they overcharged the offense.
Just like with a dismissal, the prosecution needs a reason to reduce a charge to a lesser type of robbery or even a lower tier of theft charge entirely. Sometimes the state will negotiate a plea bargain that involves pleading guilty to a lesser offense instead of the robbery charge that was initially brought by the police.
In other situations, the prosecutor could simply realize that they have charged the wrong offense. If the state determines that a lower level of robbery case is appropriate, it could amend the charges on their own order.
In some cases, the best possible outcome is simply diminishing the potential penalties you face as the result of a conviction. One of the ways you could work to diminish the penalties of your conviction is by securing a reasonable plea bargain offer. A plea bargain could be in your best interest even if you dispute your guilt. For some, the certainty that comes with a plea offer is more valuable than taking the risk of a trial.
It is possible to fight for reduced penalties after a conviction for robbery as well. Criminal cases are bifurcated, meaning that the trial takes place over two different sections. First, the judge or jury must determine whether the accused is guilty. If they find them guilty, then it moves on to the penalty phase.
There are some cases where the bulk of the defense attorney’s effort is trying to avoid the worst possible scenarios in sentencing. This is common when the evidence of guilt is overwhelming. This could include arguing for little to no jail time upon conviction.
Common Defenses to Robbery Charges in MN
There are a few ways to defend yourself against allegations of robbery. One of the strongest possible defenses involves simply claiming actual innocence. There are a number of ways that you could make the case for innocence. For starters, you could allege that you were mistakenly identified as the actual perpetrator. This defense is especially strong if you have an alibi that makes it impossible for you to have been at the scene of the crime.
You might also rely on a defense centered on the violation of your constitutional rights. You are protected from unlawful searches and seizures by the United States constitution. If the police developed evidence against you following an illegal search or seizure, you could use that to exclude that evidence from trial. Limiting the evidence available to the state could put you in a strong position to win your case.
Contact a Minneapolis Robbery Charges Lawyer to Discuss Your Robbery Arrest
Robbery is one of the most serious offenses under state law, and these allegations should be taken seriously. If convicted, you could spend years of your life behind bars. If you’re asking is robbery a felony in Minneapolis and Minnesota because you’re facing charges, you should consult a lawyer.
Robbery charges are often defensible. That means that you could show a jury that there is not enough evidence to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state cannot make their case beyond a reasonable doubt, you are entitled to a full dismissal.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what is at stake in robbery cases. We will aggressively advocate for you while developing the strongest defense strategy possible. If you are ready to learn more about how we could help, contact our firm right away to schedule a free consultation.
Originally published April 16, 2021 and updated October 6, 2021