While a mere arrest will not necessarily result in severe punishment, a robbery conviction can have a profound impact on your future by resulting in a felony record, incarceration, and significant fines or other costs. Although you might have a general awareness of the nature of robbery charges, this offense has a very specific definition.
The Definition of Robbery Charges
Under Minnesota law, robbery refers to the taking of property or money directly from a person or while in the person’s presence without permission.
While many people assume that an accused must use force to take the property to constitute a robbery, this criminal offense can be charged even in the absence of the actual use of force. The mere threat of force constitutes a sufficient basis to prosecute an individual for robbery charges.
Understanding Types of Robbery Charges
The nature of the offense and the severity of the punishment for a conviction depends on the underlying circumstances of the crime. Minnesota criminal laws set forth three classes of robbery:
- Simple Robbery The prosecutor will generally charge this level of the criminal offense when no weapon is involved in the commission of the offense. A conviction for this offense can result in penalties that include up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $20,000
- Second-Degree Robbery If the alleged perpetrator uses a threat to inflict harm or the threat of a weapon, the prosecutor can charge this more serious charge. The punishment for 2nd-degree robbery includes up to fifteen years in a penitentiary and a fine of as much as $30,000
- First-Degree Robbery This aggravated version of robbery charges applies if bodily harm is inflicted or the accused uses a dangerous weapon when committing the offense. 1st-degree robbery constitutes the most serious robbery charge and carries potential penalties of up to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $35,000
Potential Defense Strategies to Robbery Charges in Minnesota
When you face an aggravated form of robbery charges, such as first-degree or second-degree robbery, we might seek to have the charge reduced to simple robbery by contesting the aggravating facts that led to the more serious charge.
For example, we may dispute whether you used a dangerous weapon. While the precise defenses that we might raise depend on the circumstances of your case, potential defense might include:
- Claim of Right If you have a legitimate claim or right to the property that allegedly belongs to your accuser, this might constitute a potential defense
- Mistaken Identity Eyewitness testimony constitutes important evidence in many robbery cases. Our law firm can use experts to expose the lack of reliability of this form of evidence
- False Accusations Robbery charges sometimes stem from bad blood or squabbles that lead to “trumped up” accusations
- Illegal Search When the police discover the property at issue in a case during an illegal search, all of the allegedly stolen items might be excluded. The search can be invalid for various reasons, including insufficient probable cause, reliance on an inapplicable warrant exception, or a search that goes beyond the scope of the warrant
These are just a few examples of potential defense strategies for robbery charges, but a plethora of general defenses also might be relevant, such as Miranda violations.
Seek Legal Counsel Immediately
Because we have over 30 years of experience while representing over 10,000 people, criminal defense lawyers at Gerald Miller, P.A. have the expertise and resources to take on prosecutors when you face these types of serious charges.
If you have been arrested for robbery in the Twin Cities or surrounding areas of Minnesota, we invite you to speak to a Minnesota criminal defense attorney at Gerald Miller, P.A. as soon as possible.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start protecting your rights. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.