There are some legal cases that essentially require legal representation. A case involving robbery charges is definitely one of them. This crime is considered extremely dangerous and is vigorously prosecuted in New Jersey. A conviction can ruin your reputation, prevent you from landing in jail, will lead to a hefty fine, and will almost always involve incarceration.
If you're facing robbery charges in New Jersey, it's imperative you contact the Lento Law Firm as soon as possible. With your freedom on the line, it's important you obtain a New Jersey criminal defense attorney who can investigate your case and build a solid defense on your behalf. In our justice system, you have rights, one of which includes the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In this article, we'll explore exactly what robbery charges entail, the penalties you'll face, and why retaining an experienced attorney is important in these circumstances.
What Constitutes Robbery in New Jersey?
According to New Jersey statutes, a person is found guilty if, in the course of committing a theft, he or she:
- Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon another, or
- Threatens another with or purposely puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury, or
- Commits or threatens to commit any crime of the first or second degree.
Robbery is elevated to a crime of the first degree if it is committed with the intention to kill or seriously harm another person and/or a deadly weapon is used.
The main distinction between robbery and other types of theft is the element of violence. Simply put, robbery is stealing from a person through the use of force or threat of force, and the force or threat of force must occur while the crime is being commissioned. Force could be characterized as an action as minor as snatching a purse from a woman or as major as shooting a man to steal from him.
Defining “Bodily Injury”
Bodily injury is defined as physical harm, pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. In to be convicted of a robbery, the victim in question doesn't have to actually suffer bodily injury as long as the victim has a reason to believe that they would be injured, the defendant could potentially be convicted.
Defining the “Use of a Deadly Weapon”
A deadly weapon is a weapon that is capable of killing or causing death. Obviously, weapons like firearms and knives fall under this category, but everyday inanimate objects can be characterized as “deadly” under certain circumstances. A small garden tool may not be deemed a deadly weapon in a normal context, but it can be if you repeatedly hit somebody over the head with it. Objects like a rock, a pen, or a vehicle can be classified as deadly weapons if used in a fashion that could have, or did, cause serious bodily harm. Some courts have even deemed parts of the body like hands and feet as deadly weapons in certain cases.
Legal Penalties for Robbery in New Jersey
The majority of robbery charges are classified as a crime of the second degree. This offense is punishable by a prison sentence between 5 to 10 years.
Robbery charges that are elevated to a crime of the first degree warrant a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison.
Potential Defenses for Robbery
An indictment for robbery charges is determined by the prevalence of a number of factors. Attorney Joseph Lento of the Lento Law Firm has an adept knowledge of the elements of a case that must be proven to prosecute a defendant of robbery, and therefore understands the potential defenses to assert to disprove these elements. A defense can be so convincing that it leads to a defendant's sentence being reduced or downgraded. A solid defense can even lead to the dismissal of your case altogether. The following defenses could possibly be asserted in your case if applicable:
- Mistaken identity
- False or unreliable witness testimony
- Inability to establish the defendant's possession of the property
- The defendant's genuine belief in their right to the property
- There was a racial, ethnic, socio-economic, gender, or other type of bias on the part of authorities or witnesses
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney
Robbery is a serious crime in New Jersey. To avoid a conviction and the legal and collateral ramifications that come with a robbery conviction, you need the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney.
Firstly, you should never discuss the circumstances of an incident without an attorney present. If the police attempt to question you, it's in your best interest to decline this questioning and immediately request an attorney. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and a prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. You need an attorney who will challenge them at every possible turn as they try to pin this crime on you. If they don't have a solid case, there should be motions that stop them from moving forward.
If you're looking for quality legal representation, the Lento Law Firm is the ideal firm for you. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience and credentials to defend and counsel people who've acquired robbery charges. He will provide you with options in this predicament, build a solid defense and work towards getting your charges reduced or dropped. Mr. Lento keeps flexible office hours and is willing to work around your schedule. To set up a consultation or for more information about Mr. Lento's representation, contact the Lento Law Firm either online or by phone at 888-535-3686.