Pennsauken NJ Robbery Defense Attorneys
Robbery is one of the most severe charges that occurs with regularity in Camden County, New Jersey. While most people think they “know it when they see it”, the statutory language is a bit more difficult to understand than most expect. Robbery charges may stem from what was a shoplifting incident and leave the defendant vulnerable to face much more drastic penalties then if it was a simple theft. The degree of the charge can either be of first or second degree depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident in question. If convicted on a robbery charge, you may up to twenty (20) years in a New Jersey State Penitentiary. The following analysis will help to understand your Audubon, Collingswood, Voorhees, Pine Hill or other Camden County burglary arrest. There is little doubt that strong legal counsel will be needed to defend your burglary charge. Our team of skilled attorneys is one of the largest in the state, includes former prosecutors, and possesses over 100 years of combined experience. We are available to assist you 24/7 with bail or any other issue with respect to a robbery charge.
Robbery Charge at Camden County Superior Court
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, to obtain a conviction, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in the course of committing a theft, the defendant:
- Inflicted bodily injury or used force upon another; or
- Threatened another with or purposely put him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Committed or threatened to immediately commit any crime of the first or second degree.
Simply committing one of the three numbered acts will not be sufficient to be convicted of robbery. The act or acts must be done in the course of committing a theft for all of the required elements of a robbery charge to be satisfied.
Where the language of the statute may be malleable to the circumstances surrounding the incident is in what constitutes being “in the course of committing a theft.” According to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and act is 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.
To be convicted of a robbery, the defendant need not succeed in their attempt. All the State must prove in the case of a failed robbery is that the defendant: (1) purposely took a substantial step (2) to exercise unlawful control over the property of another (3) while threatening another with, or purposely placing another in fear of, immediate bodily injury.
First Degree or Second Degree Robbery Offense
Robbery is a crime of the second degree if the above mentioned elements are present. However, a robbery charge becomes a crime of the first degree if the above elements are present AND any one of the following conditions is part of the incident in question:
- If in the course of committing the theft the defendant attempts to kill anyone; or
- The defendant purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury; or
- The defendant is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.
Often, in the performance of a robbery, the defendant who committed the robbery uses a fake weapon (i.e. toy gun). While, this may not seem to constitute a the “deadly weapon” necessary to elevate the crime to a first degree offense, courts have held that fake weapons, like a toy gun, will raise the crime to the first degree so long as the victim reasonably perceives the gun to be real. This illustrates the need for a proper defense counsel in protecting an individual’s rights under the robbery statute, which can have various interpretations.
If convicted of robbery in the first degree, the defendant will face between ten (10) and twenty (20) years in a New Jersey State Penitentiary. If convicted of robbery in the second degree, the defendant is subject five (5) to ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Penitentiary. Both first and second degree robbery carry a presumption of incarceration, though this can be overcome with strong representation. Moreover, if convicted of first or second degree robbery, the defendant will invoke the No Early Release Act, which demands that the defendant serve at least 85% of their original sentence before they can be eligible for parole.
Winslow Township Robbery Lawyer
Violent crimes definitely tend to grab the attention of both judges and prosecutors and robbery is one of the more extreme, especially the first degree variety. And even when you are dealing with a second degree, NERA results in 85% of any sentence having to be served. With stakes like these, it borders on insanity to attempt to defend a Camden robbery case without a saavy criminal attorney. Our staff of skilled representative are seasoned in the defending robbery and weapon offenses. We are ready to provide our insight and guidance. A free consultation is a telephone call way. Call us for the help you need.