Hudson County NJ Juvenile Robbery Lawyers
Whether committed by a minor or an adult, robbery is a serious offense in Hudson County, New Jersey. The slight differences between theft, burglary, and robbery can mean the differences between a misdemeanor and a felony in New Jersey; put another way the difference between probation and a four year Jamesburg sentence (prison for juveniles). It takes an experienced Jersey City, NJ juvenile robbery attorney with knowledge of the law to understand how these crimes differ for minors rather than adults. More often than not, robbery charges arise from a shoplifting incident gone awry. When this occurs, the crime can change from a misdemeanor to a first or second degree indictable offense. As touched upon above, a conviction for a first degree robbery charge for a juvenile, may land a juvenile in Jamesburg for four years. With that being said, the courts will likely grant leniency to first-time offending minors, provided counsel can mount a solid defense on their behalf. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Hudson County, NJ juvenile defense firm. Our office has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have represented juvenile’s charged with robbery, burglary, marijuana possession, heroin distribution in towns like Jersey City, Union City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Bayonne and West New York for over fifteen years. If you would like a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Hudson County, NJ juvenile robbery defense attorneys, please contact our Jersey City at (201) 309-1800. We are available like 24/7.
What Defines Robbery for a Juvenile in Secaucus, NJ?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, robbery requires that the Hudson County Prosecutor demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that in the course of committing a theft, the juvenile defendant:
- Inflicted bodily injury or used force upon another; or
- Threatened another with or purposely put him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Committed or threatened to immediately commit any crime of the first or second degree.
Simply committing one of the three numbered acts will not be sufficient to be convicted of robbery. The act or acts must be done in the course of committing a theft for all of the required elements of a robbery charge to be satisfied. Where the language of the statute may be material to the circumstances surrounding the incident, it is what constitutes being “in the course of committing a theft” that is key. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and act is deemed to be included in the phrase “in the course of committing a theft” if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission. To be convicted of a robbery, the juvenile need not succeed in their attempt. All the State must prove in the case of a failed robbery is that the juvenile:
- Purposely took a substantial step;
- To exercise unlawful control over the property of another;
- While threatening another with, or purposely placing another in fear of, immediate bodily injury.
Additionally, it is not a defense to a robbery charge that the juvenile was entitled to the property or believed to be collecting a debt in good faith.
What degree of Robbery am I facing?
Robbery is a crime of the second degree if the above mentioned elements are present. However, a robbery charge becomes a crime of the first degree if the above elements are present AND any one of the following conditions is part of the incident in question:
- If in the course of committing the theft the juvenile attempts to kill anyone; or
- The juvenile purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury; or
- The juvenile is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.
Often, in the performance of a robbery, the juvenile who committed the robbery uses a fake weapon (i.e. toy gun). While, this may not seem to constitute a the “deadly weapon” necessary to elevate the crime to a first degree offense, courts have held that fake weapons, like a toy gun, will raise the crime to the first degree so long as the victim reasonably perceives the gun to be real. This illustrates the need for a proper defense counsel in protecting an individual’s rights under the robbery statute, which can have various interpretations.
Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted of Robber in NJ?
If convicted of robbery in the first degree, the juvenile will face up to four (4) years in a New Jersey’s juvenile detention center, Jamesburg. If convicted of robbery in the second degree, the juvenile is subject up t three (3) years in New Jersey’s juvenile detention center. Both first and second degree robbery carry a presumption of incarceration, though this can be overcome with strong representation. These are extremely harsh penalties, therefore it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Jersey City, NJ juvenile defense lawyer immediately. Furthermore, since the offense of robbery is such a serious offense in New Jersey, it is plausible for the prosecution to attempt to waive your child’ s case up and prosecute him as an adult. If convicted of first degree robbery as an adult, the defendant will face up to twenty (20) years in a State prison and for a second degree robbery they will face up to ten (10) years. In addition, a conviction for robbery as an adult will also invoke the No Early Release Act, which demands that the defendant serve at least 85% of their original sentence before they can be eligible for parole.
Hoboken NJ Juvenile Defense Firm
As you can tell from above, the offense of robbery is a very serious offense irrespective if the defendant charges is a juvenile or not. As touched upon above, the juvenile justice system is handled completely different then the adult criminal justice system, therefore it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Hudson County NJ juvenile defense attorney. Our office has eight juvenile criminal defense attorneys on staff, making our office one of the largest juvenile defense firms in the State, let alone Hudson County. For a free consultation please contact our Jersey City office at (201) 309-1800.