Westchester County Robbery Lawyer
Robbery in the state of New York is a felony-level offense that can carry severe consequences if convicted, including years of prison time for the most serious of cases. When someone faces charges involving robbery, it is understandable for that person to be concerned and unsure of what to do next.
If you are facing robbery charges, speak with an experienced and aggressive Westchester County robbery lawyer. An experienced theft attorney could help you fully understand the charges being brought against you, develop a defense strategy, and put this strategy into effect in fighting for an appropriate outcome to your case.
What Acts Are Classified as Robbery?
At their core, all robbery charges share a common definition. According to New York Penal Law §160.00, a robbery is any act of forcible stealing from another person. In this context, forcible stealing involves the use or threat of force to compel another person to give their property.
An important aspect of robbery to bear to mind is that the taking must be by force. In practice, this means that a court cannot convict a person of robbery if the taking was by mistake or if the alleged victim affirms that the defendant merely failed to return lent property.
Classifying Robbery Charges
The least severe robbery charge applicable to residents of Westchester County is robbery in the third degree. This is a robbery that does not involve the use of a weapon or the aid of any other person. According to New York Penal Law §160.05, robbery in the third degree is a class D felony and carries a potential prison sentence of between two to seven years.
Robbery charges become more severe when the accused acts in concert with a second person, as well as when the act results in any physical injury or involves the display of a firearm. As outlined in New York Penal Law §160.10, these extenuating circumstances constitute a robbery in the second degree, a class C felony for which penalties can range from three and a half to 15 years in prison.
Differentiating Felony Robbery Offenses
Robberies in the first degree are defined in New York Penal Law §160.15 as class B felonies. A robbery is considered to be in the first degree when the act results in serious physical injury, involves the use of a deadly weapon or involves a threat by the perpetrator of firearm usage. These aggravating factors also apply when the resulting injury or threats are committed against any other person, not just the victim of the alleged crime.
What is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?
While robbery and burglary are two theft offenses that carry serious penalties, there are significant differences between the two. Robbery involves a forceful taking from another person. On the other hand, burglary occurs when a person enters or unlawfully remains in a dwelling to commit a crime. While this crime is often related to a theft, any criminal offense qualifies. Additionally, burglary can occur even when the alleged victim is not present. That is not the case with a robbery charge.
What are Common Defenses to Robbery Charges?
There are many potential defenses to a robbery charge. Arguably the simplest defense involves a claim of innocence. This could involve the use of an alibi to establish the defendant could not have been present at the time the robbery occurred. Another option could be to highlight that the prosecution has failed to make their case and has not provided enough evidence to warrant a conviction.
Being mistakenly identified is another viable defense in some cases. The alleged victims of a robbery might not always get a good look at the person who stole from them. When this happens, it is possible for the alleged victim to misidentify the person that actually committed the robbery. A Westchester County lawyer could determine the most effective robbery defense for a specific case.
How a Robbery Attorney Can Help
Any allegation of a criminal act is a serious matter, but when the allegations rise to the level of a felony offense, you should provide yourself with every possible advantage. One way to do this may be to hire an experienced Westchester County robbery lawyer.
A dedicated attorney could work to dissect every aspect of the state’s case in order to provide you with the best possible chance for a positive outcome. Depending on the circumstances, they could also file evidentiary motions to exclude damaging testimony from trial, question witnesses, and help you explain your side of the story in court.