Robbery falls under the umbrella of theft crimes in North Carolina, and it’s one of the more serious offenses within this category. Felony charges apply to this offense, which means mandatory incarceration if you’re convicted. Plus, there’s no statute of limitations on felony offenses in the state, so law enforcement and prosecutors can pursue charges against you at any time. Under certain circumstances, your case could even fall under federal jurisdiction, where the term of imprisonment and fines increase dramatically. Retaining a Charlotte robbery lawyer should be your top priority considering the far-reaching consequences of a conviction.
At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our team knows that the criminal process following theft charges in Charlotte can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a legal background. We’re prepared to take on these challenges, both by attacking the prosecution’s allegations and by presenting evidence in your favor.
Overview of Robbery Charges
North Carolina General Statutes § 14-87 outlines the crime of robbery in North Carolina. Generally, the offense is defined as using a weapon in connection with a theft crime. However, there are several special considerations within the statute that you should bear in mind:
- The weapon may be a firearm, dangerous weapon, or any other device.
- Possession, use, or threat to use a dangerous weapon could lead to robbery charges.
- The crime must involve threatening or endangering the life of the victim along with theft, so you can only be arrested for robbery if you commit the offense in the presence of that person.
- The robbery can take place anywhere, such as a business, bank, residence, or other location.
- Both attempted robbery and aiding and abetting robbery are included in the statute, and are subject to the same penalties.
Robbery vs. Burglary and Related Crimes
There can be considerable confusion about robbery and how it compares to other theft crimes. Some of the biggest misconceptions involve the difference between burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. The main distinction is that burglary is entering a building with the intent to commit larceny or a felony while inside. It may not involve a theft crime at all, such as where the person means to assault a victim within the structure. Though burglary may involve the intent to steal, theft is not an essential element of the crime.
Other crimes that are related to robbery include:
Conspiracy to Commit Robbery
To be charged with this offense, there must be some agreement between you and at least one other person to rob someone. Even if you don’t actually attempt or complete the crime, you can be arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery.
You may be charged with safecracking in violation of North Carolina law if you open or attempt to open a safe through the use of explosives, tools, or an improperly-obtained device. The definition includes the use of a stolen combination, master key, duplicate key, or any other implement you unlawfully procured.
Common Law Robbery in North Carolina
This is a lower offense as compared to robbery, because it doesn’t involve the use of a weapon. An example would be punching or threatening to punch the victim while taking personal property from them.
Federal Bank Robbery
You should note that there it is possible for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Carolina to charge robbery as a federal crime under the Hobbs Act. Many of the same elements apply, but federal criminal procedure is very different from state laws. It’s important to retain a robbery defense lawyer who is licensed and has experience in both state and federal criminal court.
If you are facing charges for robbery or any of the related crimes listed above, do not hesitate to contact a Charlotte robbery lawyer from Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys. Each offense has its own set of far-reaching consequences, so it’s essential to retain the help of a skilled attorney as soon as possible.
Penalties of a Robbery Conviction
Because robbery in Charlotte, NC is always a felony, the punishment can be harsh. An active sentence for a robbery conviction, fines, and other punishments vary widely depending on the circumstances of the crime. Since robbery is a class D felony, you can face anywhere from 38 to 160 months in prison.
Under the NC felony sentencing chart, your term of imprisonment varies for aggravated factors or a prior criminal history. Points are added to your offense, which could make incarceration longer. Conversely, mitigating circumstances could possibly lower your sentence.
Besides statutory punishments, there may be other implications of a robbery conviction. The matter remains a part of your permanent criminal record, so it could present issues with current or future employment, or cause you to be unable to qualify for a loan. A robbery conviction may also affect your immigration status, child custody and visitation, educational opportunities, and other areas of your life.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Charged with Robbery?
The law in North Carolina is very specific on the requirements for a prosecutor to prove a crime was committed. There are strict details for the essential elements, so a robbery defense attorney can attack any weaknesses in the allegations. If even one requirement fails to reach the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, robbery charges may be dismissed. In addition, your robbery lawyer can explore potential defense strategies to present evidence in your favor to either the prosecutor or at trial.
However, it’s critical to consult with a robbery defense attorney right away to take the best advantage of legal advice. A lawyer can be present during questioning, when police may be pushy in trying to obtain information and statements to use against you in court. Your robbery attorney can also assist during the entire legal process, if you are in fact charged.