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What is Aggravated Robbery?

June 24, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Armed robbery is a crime that is committed when a person uses a deadly weapon while stealing something that belongs to another person. The perpetrator can use violence or even simply threaten to do so. However, most states don’t recognize the term “armed robbery.” Typically, this type of crime is known as aggravated robbery. The use of a deadly weapon increases the robbery charge up to aggravated, which means it is a more serious crime.

Prosecution’s Job

In a case involving a defendant who has been charged with aggravated robbery, the prosecution is required to prove that certain elements were in place during the time the crime was committed. These elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a defendant to be found guilty. They include the following:

The defendant took property from someone else: The crime of robbery is committed when someone takes personal property from another person that that individual owns without their consent. The victim doesn’t even have to be the actual owner of the property. For example, if someone borrowed a bicycle from a friend and was the bike was stolen from them while they were using it, the crime would be considered robbery.
The defendant took property from someone’s person or presence: Robbery is a crime that involves taking property off of someone’s person or in their presence. That means the item can be snatched from the victim’s hand or forcibly taken while the victim is able to see the crime occur.
The defendant must have carried the property away: The defendant must have actually carried the property away. Using control over the item can also be considered robbery.
The defendant intended to deprive the possessor permanently: For robbery to be the act committed by the defendant, the defendant must have intended to permanently deprive the victim of the property.
The defendant used violence or intimidation when they took the item: In order for a person to be charged with aggravated robbery, they must have used violence or intimidation. For example, if someone stole a woman’s purse and shoved her hard down to the ground to take it, this is considered an act of violence. However, the act of intimidating someone can also apply.
The defendant used a dangerous weapon: Aggravated robbery is a crime that involves the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon. If the defendant brandished a gun while stealing an object from a person, it is considered aggravated robbery.
The defendant used or carried a dangerous weapon: If the defendant actually carried a deadly weapon while committing the robbery, it is considered aggravated robbery.

What are Common Defenses for Aggravated Robbery?

One of the most common defenses for an aggravated robbery charge is to claim mistaken identity. In other words, a robbery may have happened, but the defendant wasn’t the one who committed the crime.

Another defense that is viable in some states is for the defense to argue that the defendant was taking what was theirs.

The defense can also challenge the use or threat of force in an aggravated robbery case. For instance, if the victim thought they were seeing a knife in the defendant’s pocket but the weapon was never used, the defense attorney can argue down to a lesser charge or simply robbery.

Other defenses may include claiming that false allegations are being made against the defendant. Improper arrest is another common type of defense in an aggravated robbery case.

Penalties for Aggravated Robbery

If a person is convicted of aggravated robbery, they are charged with a felony. This stands regardless of the value of the item stolen. The crime also involves the use of a dangerous weapon, which means harsh penalties that include a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fines.

A charge of aggravated robbery is very serious and requires the skills of an experienced criminal defense attorney. It is your best chance of having the charges against you reduced or perhaps, even dropped altogether.



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