Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per ARS §13-1902, “Robbery” occurs when in the course of taking the property of another from the alleged victim’s body (or immediate presence) and against their will, the defendant threatens or uses force against any person with the intent to coerce the victim to surrender the property or to prevent the victim from resisting.
A threat of force sufficient for a Robbery conviction can sometimes be as simple as “give me your wallet, or else…” Robbery is a class four (4) felony.
Also, per ARS §13-1903, “Aggravated Robbery” occurs when the defendant has an accomplice actually present during the course of committing the Robbery. This is a class three (3) felony and is more serious than regular Robbery.
In addition, “Armed Robbery” per ARS §13-1904 can be charged if during the course of the Robbery, the defendant or the defendant’s accomplice, is either armed with a deadly weapon or a simulated deadly weapon, or if the defendant uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or simulated deadly weapon. Armed Robbery is the most serious of the Robbery felonies and is charged as a class two (2) felony, and an “Allegation of Dangerousness” will be filed.
Possible Punishments for Robbery Charges in Arizona
If convicted of Robbery, this class four (4) felony carries several possible sentences. These include:
- If a first time offense, the penalty can range 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 a conviction for Aggravated Robbery has been received, this is a class three (3) felony and can include harsher sentences.
- A first time offense penalty can include anywhere from probation with zero (0) days 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 the defendant receives an Armed Robbery conviction, it is a class two (2) “dangerous offense” felony. These are the harshest of sentences for robbery charges. They include:
- The first offense penalty is a minimum of seven (7) years in prison, a presumptive of ten and one half (10.5) years in prison, and a maximum of twenty-one (21) years in prison.
- If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior dangerous conviction, the offense penalty is a minimum of fourteen (14) years in prison, a presumptive of fifteen and three-quarters (15.75) years in prison, and a maximum of twenty-eight (28) years in prison.
- If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior dangerous convictions, the offense penalty is a minimum of twenty-one (21) years in Arizona prison, a presumptive of twenty-eight (28) years in prison, and a maximum of thirty-five (35) years in prison.
What are the Possible Defenses for Robbery?
In many situations where the prosecutor charges some type of Robbery, the alleged victim and the defendant will have some sort of relationship or association, complicating the factual scenario. One common example is in domestic disputes (either between significant others or roommates) where the parties get into an argument and then the defendant attempts to take what they perceive to be their own property with them. The “victim,” in contrast, either perceives the property to be theirs or does not want the defendant to take the property, grabs it, resulting in a physical altercation as the defendant attempts to take the property from the victim’s hands. Persons in a close relationship are often much more comfortable with physical contact, so the defendant might not even think they are using “force” as required in the Robbery statute. It will be important to present evidence that the defendant in the process of taking the property (such as a car, a stereo or some other household item) did not use force, and additionally is actually entitled to that property, and therefore cannot be guilty of robbery since it is not “property of another.”
It is crucial to many defense cases that in a “community property state” such as Arizona, both spouses have equal right to take any of the household marital property. This will be a very important defense in order to defend against Robbery charges that stem from a spousal relationship, especially when an ongoing divorce proceeding in involved.
If the prosecutor has charged the defendant with Armed Robbery based on a “dangerous instrument” during the robbery, a possible defense would be the demonstration that whatever item was in the defendant’s hand (so long as not a gun) was not being displayed or used in a “dangerous” manner. For example, if the defendant was holding a pool cue at 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), or that the item was inherently dangerous, like a knife or poison. 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, and not being used in any dangerous manner, it can serve as a very powerful defense and can be used as a bargaining tool in plea negotiations to a lesser Robbery charge.
Contact Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer David Michael Cantor if you have been charged with Standard, Aggravated, or Armed Robbery. Call 24/7 602-307-0808 for a Free Consultation.
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Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating 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, the “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 else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; video surveillance; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics 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 all the possible defenses to assert in your case. Before speaking with other lawyers, check out our Robbery victories page.
It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is an Arizona Robbery Defense Lawyer 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®. At Dm Cantor, the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Arizona Robbery Defense Lawyers know the system well. For a Free Initial Consultation, click to call us at 602-307-0808.
Contact DM Cantor and speak to an Arizona Robbery Defense Lawyer. We will assist you with your Robbery case.