What Happens When You Get Charged with Robbery in Minnesota?
There are few charges in Minnesota that carry steeper penalties than robbery. This crime applies to an act that is beyond more theft. The crime of robbery occurs when a person uses force or the threat of force take property that does not belong to them. The forceful aspect of this offense is why robbery penalties are much greater compared to larceny cases.
If you are facing charges of robbery, it is understandable if you have questions about what comes next. The criminal justice process is confusing, especially if you have never been charged with a crime before. The right criminal defense attorney could help you navigate the process with a clear understanding of what is happening.
Before you consider pleading guilty to a Robbery offense, let the attorneys of Gerald Miller help you evaluate your options. A strong defense could help you beat the charges against you. Call right away to learn more.
How do Robbery Charges Work?
What happens after an arrest for robbery depends largely on the type of robbery offense you are charged with. Not all robbery charges are the same, as the offense is broken up into two categories: simple and aggravated robbery. Additionally, there are to different degrees of aggravated robbery. Understanding the differences in each offense is important, as it could impact how your case progresses.
The offense of simple robbery is governed by Minnesota Statute Section 609.24. According to the law, a person commits simple robbery when they knowingly:
takes personal property from the person or in the presence of another and uses or threatens the imminent use of force against any person to overcome the person’s resistance or powers of resistance to, or to compel acquiescence in, the taking or carrying away of the property…
In other words, this offense is more than just larceny. It involves the use of force or the threat of force to secure the taking of another person’s property. Simple robber is a serious offense. It is a felony charge that could result in up to 10 years in prison and a fine of no more than $20,000.
Aggravated robbery carries steeper maximum penalties than simple robbery. This offense is also broken up into two subcategories, known as degrees. First-degree aggravated robbery is a more serious offense than second-degree aggravated robbery.
First-degree aggravated robbery occurs when a person is armed with a dangerous weapon, or with an object fashioned to look like a dangerous weapon. This charge is also appropriate when a robbery results in bodily harm. First-degree aggravated robbery can result in as much as 20 years in prison, a fine of $35,000, or a combination of the two.
Second-degree aggravated robbery also includes additional elements beyond a simple robbery. Specifically, a conviction is only appropriate when a person commits simple robbery while implying they are in possession of a dangerous weapon. This implication could be made by word or act.
The Criminal Process in a Robbery Case
Although no two robbery cases are exactly alike, they do typically follow a similar structure. Your case will begin with an arrest, followed by a series of court appearances. In many situations, the case will ultimately culminate in a criminal trial.
There are usually opportunities to avoid a trial and skip some parts of this process. This is true if your attorney can make a viable case for dismissal to the prosecutor or the judge. The process could also end early if you agree to enter a plea of guilty.
The first stage of a robbery case—at least for the accused—is an arrest. An arrest for robbery could take different forms. There are times when law enforcement makes an arrest during the alleged commission of a robbery. However, there are also situations where the police will only make an arrest after the completion of a full investigation.
This can take time, as the reporting witness might not always get a clear picture of the person that committed the offense. In some cases, the police will not make an arrest for robbery for weeks or months after the crime allegedly occurred. This long delay can make it harder to build a strong defense against these allegations, as your memory of that day can fade over time.
Every robbery case begins with an initial court hearing, known as an arraignment. Arraignment is an important part of the process for multiple reasons. First, this hearing allows you the first opportunity at bail if you have been held in jail following your arrest. It is also the hearing where you will enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. By pleading not guilty, you give yourself more time to build a defense and obtain a favorable outcome in your case. If you have been released from jail prior to this hearing, your attorney could appear on your behalf.
Your case is likely to have a number of hearings following your arraignment. Some of these hearings will be set for the purpose of keeping the court updated on the status. Other hearings might have an important purpose, like a scheduled motion to dismiss. If your attorney seeks to exclude evidence or have the charges against you dropped by the judge, the matter will typically be decided at a hearing where both sides have the chance to be heard.
Most robbery cases never go to trial. However, there are times when the other options are off the table. If you refuse to accept a plea bargain and the state does not dismiss the charges against you, a trial could be your last chance at avoiding a conviction. At trial, you have the ability to put on evidence and call witnesses. At the end, a judge or jury will determine your innocence or guilt.
How Your Case Ends is Partially Up to You
The process of a robbery case might follow a similar path, but only up to a point. Eventually, your case will come to an end. The good news is that there are many ways to end a robbery case with a favorable conclusion. What happens at the conclusion of your case will depend on the strategic decisions you make in conjunction with your legal counsel. Some of the ways your case could end include:
Many people are not willing to plead guilty to a robbery charge. For some, this is because they are convinced of their innocence. For others, a trial might represent a better opportunity than what was offered as part of the plea bargain from the state. In either case, taking the case to trial is risky. An acquittal is the best possible outcome, but a guilty verdict could result in a sentence that is much stiffer compared to what was offered in a plea bargain by the prosecutor.
Some cases will never go to trial. The best possible outcome when a trial doesn’t occur is the dismissal of all of your charges. Prosecutors and judges are not going to dismiss the case against you on a whim, but a strong defense strategy could lead to a dismissal. Prosecutors don’t like losing cases, and making a clear case that you are likely to prevail at trial could work out in your favor.
Many robbery cases conclude with a negotiated plea bargain. While this results in a conviction, many plea bargains include fair terms that are less severe than what you might receive at trial. This is a viable option in cases where the evidence against you is likely to result in a conviction.
Call the Attorneys of Gerald Miller after a Robbery Arrest
It can be overwhelming to face robbery charges in Minnesota. Even if you have faced criminal charges before, robbery is a felony offense that carries life-altering consequences. It is understandable that you want to know what to expect every step of the way.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller are proud to fight for the accused. We understand the stress and worry that can come with a robbery charge, and we look forward to taking that stress off of your shoulders. Contact us right away for a free consultation.
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