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Robbery (Standard, Aggravated, and Armed Robbery)

Under Arizona laws, per ARS §13-1902, “Robbery” occurs when a person is taking the property of another (either from a person’s body or immediate presence) against that person’s will, and the Defendant threatens or uses force against the alleged victim with the intent to either coerce the surrender of the property or to prevent resistance of the alleged victim while taking or retaining the property. Sometimes this charge can be filed if a person simply tells somebody “give me your wallet… or else”. Standard Armed Robbery is a class four (4) felony.

Also, in Arizona, per ARS §13-1903, “Aggravated Robbery” occurs when the Defendant also has an accomplice during the Robbery. This is a class three (3) felony and is more serious than standard Robbery.

In addition, in Arizona, “Armed Robbery” per ARS §13-1904 occurs during a Standard Robbery when the Defendant is either armed with a deadly weapon, or a simulated deadly weapon, or if the Defendant actually use or threaten to use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (or simulated deadly weapon). If this occurs, then this is the most serious of the Robbery felonies and it will be elevated to a class two (2) felony designation and an “Allegation of Dangerousness” will be filed.


Possible Punishment for Robbery

If a “Standard Robbery” has occurred, then this class four (4) felony carries the following possible sentences:

  • First offense penalty of anywhere from probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail; or prison of a minimum of one (1) year to a maximum of three and three quarters (3.75) of incarceration.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) years to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If an “Aggravated Robbery” has occurred, then this class three (3) felony carries the following possible sentences:

  • First offense penalty of anywhere from probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail; or prison of a minimum of two (2) years to a maximum of eight and three quarters (8.75) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction then the “prison only” range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

If an “Armed Robbery” has occurred, then this becomes a class two (2) felony “dangerous offense” with the following punishments:

  • Minimum of seven (7) years in prison;
  • Presumptive of ten and one half (10.5) years in prison;
  • Maximum of twenty-one (21) years in prison.

If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then:

  • The “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison.

If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then:

  • The “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) years to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

Possible Defenses for Robbery

Most commonly, defenses will involve the fact that the Defendant knows the alleged victim. Usually these charges will arise in domestic disputes (either between significant others or roommates) where one party gets in an argument and then attempts to take what they perceive to be their own property with them. It will be important to show that the person who is taking the property (such as a car, a stereo or some other household item) is actually entitled to that property. In a “community property state”, such as Arizona, both spouses have equal right to take any of the household property. This will be a very important defense in order to defend Robbery charges (especially when an ongoing divorce proceeding in involved).

In regards to the claim of a deadly weapon or “simulated deadly weapon”, a possible Robbery defense would be the demonstration that whatever item was in the Defendant’s hand was not being displayed or threatened in a “Dangerous” manner. For example, if the Defendant were holding a pool cue to his side while engaged in an argument, the prosecution would need to show that the Defendant either held the item in such a manner as to be a threatening weapon (such as a “baseball bat grip” with an aggressive stance). However, if it can be shown that the person was merely holding the pool cue (or beer bottle, scissors, etc.), incidentally in their hand while arguing, then this can serve as a very powerful defense.

The “Common Defenses” for Robbery, which a Robbery Lawyer may apply in any criminal case are numerous and diverse. One of most common defenses we encounter is a “Miranda rights Violation”. In Arizona, the standard of whether any inculpatory statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “Voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, “Denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their Attorney, but is denied and questioning continues.

Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/”cloning hard drive” procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc. Lastly, one of the most common defenses is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Robbery Lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of both the specific defenses and the common defenses involved in a Robbery case.

Click here… if you have not been charged with Robbery yet, but the police are in the “pre-charge investigation stage” of your case.
It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Criminal Lawyer in Phoenix and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808, or click here to contact us now.

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