Robbery Offense

New Jersey Robbery Defense Attorneys

Under New Jersey law, a theft becomes robbery if the victim is subject to physical force or threat of harm during the course of the offense. Robbery is a serious crime since it is punishable by a decade or more in prison and fines of more than $100,000. The charge is further problematic because it falls under the No Early Release Act (“NERA”). Potential consequences such as these make it absolutely necessary for you to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you were charged with strong-arm robbery or armed robbery under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. No matter the circumstances that led to your being arrested, you will need skillful representation in order to achieve the best resolution to the case.

Our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has offices throughout NJ and is fully capable of providing a thorough defense so that you stay out of jail and possibly even avoid a conviction for robbery altogether. The lawyers at our office include former prosecutors who have handled many first-degree and second-degree robbery cases in their positions as Director of Major Crimes, Special Operations, Juvenile Division, Guns Task Force, and the entire Trial Division at county prosecutor’s offices around the state. We also feature members whose trial experience is so extensive that they are certified criminal trial attorneys. The veteran litigators on our team know the law and how to effectively defend a New Jersey robbery case.

You should also know that our attorneys are known for developing creative and strategic defenses to resolve criminal cases to the benefit of our clients. And because of our experience in courtrooms throughout New Jersey, we have relationships with prosecutors that are necessary if a defense attorney is to successfully negotiate for lesser charges or sentences, or for charges to be dismissed. If you have been arrested and/or indicted for robbery, we are here to provide assistance. An initial legal consultation is free, and we can meet at any of our nine locations across New Jersey, or wherever is convenient for you.

Call us at 1-877-534-7338 or fill out our online form today for a meeting about protecting you from the potentially severe and long-lasting consequences of robbery or armed robbery charges.

Robbery Charge in New Jersey

Robbery is essentially an aggravated theft crime. That said, the injury caused or consequences are more severe than in a typical theft and thus so is the punishment. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 sets forth three types of conduct undertaken “in the course of committing a theft” that trigger a robbery offense:

  1. Inflicting bodily injury or other use of force during the theft
  2. Threatening or otherwise putting the victim in immediate fear of bodily injury
  3. Committing or threatening to commit a crime of the first or second degree during the course of a theft, for example, inflicting serious bodily injury or death, or using or threatening to use a deadly weapon (armed robbery)

Bodily injury” under New Jersey law means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.

In addition, “the course of committing a theft” applies to an attempt to commit theft and to an “immediate flight” after committing or attempting a theft. In other words, turning to shout a threat or point a gun while running away after stealing or trying to steal something could be enough to elevate a theft charge to robbery.

Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

A “deadly weapon” may be any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance capable of producing death or serious bodily injury, or that the victim could reasonably believe to be so capable.

There are four elements of proof in a robbery case. The prosecutor must establish that the defendant:

  1. Committed or attempted to commit a theft;
  2. Inflicted bodily injury or used force against another person, threatened another or purposely put them in fear of immediate bodily injury, committed or threatened to commit a crime of the first or second degree;
  3. Engaged in this conduct during the theft or during immediate flight; and
  4. Acted purposely.

A fifth element applies if the defendant is charged with first-degree robbery; the state must prove that the accused attempted to kill someone, purposely inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily injury or was armed with, used or threatened the immediate use of a deadly weapon.

Penalties If You Are Convicted Of A NJ Robbery Offense

Robbery is typically a second-degree crime but escalates to a first-degree crime if, during the course of the theft, the accused: (1) attempts to kill someone; (2) inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury on another; or (3) is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a  deadly weapon. A conviction for second-degree robbery is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. First-degree robbery carries 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. As previously stated, the No Early Release Act also applies in robbery cases. This means that 85 percent of the prison sentenced imposed will have to be served before someone convicted of violating 2C:15-1 is eligible for parole.

In addition to these penalties, you will face the collateral consequence of having a criminal record stating that you were convicted and served time for robbery. This can have devastating ramifications with prospective employers, loan officers, college admissions officers, or others conducting a background check on you. The sooner a lawyer from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is engaged to assist you with robbery charges, the sooner we can step in to protect your rights and develop a defense so that consequences such as these are averted.

Pretrial Intervention. Since robbery is either a first-degree or second-degree crime, the offense is ineligible for Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”).

Immigration Status. Robbery is considered an aggravated felony under federal immigration law. A conviction for robbery, therefore, results in removal proceedings and an extremely high probability of deportation. Representation by a skilled attorney is a must for anyone charged with robbery who lacks status or possesses a visa or green card.

Statute of Limitation. The state must file a criminal complaint or indict a defendant within five (5) years of the robbery or the charge is barred for untimeliness under the statute of limitation.

How We Defend N.J. Robbery Charges

If you hurt someone or threaten to hurt someone while stealing from them in New Jersey, a theft charge can be elevated to a far more serious charge of robbery. Essentially, any theft that scares the victim could result in a robbery charge.

Regardless of why you were charged with robbery, you have the right to a robust legal defense, which includes doing everything allowed by law to obtain the most positive results for you.

As your attorneys, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will protect your rights. The prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you, and we will challenge them at every possible turn as they try to. If they do not have a solid case, we will pursue motions to stop them from moving forward.

First, as your attorneys, we will work to obtain your release from custody if you are being held. Then we will speak with you and investigate further to determine the legitimacy and strength of the case against you.

Our investigation may reveal evidence that supports motions to dismiss or reduce charges, or creates a legal defense, such as:

  • Police misconduct, such as illegal arrest and/or search and seizure, or failure to advise of your Miranda rights against self-incrimination
  • An alibi, for example, your ability to establish that you were somewhere else when the incident in question allegedly occurred
  • Mistaken identity, such as due to a faulty suspect lineup
  • False or unreliable witness testimony
  • Lack of intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property
  • Defendant’s genuine belief in a right to the property
  • Inability to establish the alleged victim’s ownership of the property in question
  • Inability to establish the defendant’s possession of the property
  • Chain of custody issues with police and/or the court’s handling of property alleged to have been taken or a weapon alleged to have been used
  • Racial, ethnic, socio-economic, gender, or other bias on the part or witnesses or authorities

Because attorneys from our firm have long-standing relationships with prosecutors across the state, we can reach out right away to begin negotiating to dismiss charges or reduce charges as part of a plea bargain.

We can sometimes get charges reduced or dismissed based on our client’s clean record, remorse, willingness to return property or pay restitution, such as for medical bills, and the following circumstances:

  • An act caused by the heat of passion, stress, duress, coercion, or another inducement by another, etc.
  • Lack of intent to inflict significant or serious harm
  • Mental impairment at the time of the alleged theft that prevented an understanding of right and wrong or the consequences of the defendant’s actions

If a trial is necessary in a robbery case, our entire legal team will be available to help prepare a strong and persuasive defense before the judge and jury. If a conviction is unavoidable, again, the professional relationships our attorneys have with local New Jersey prosecutors will help us negotiate a minimal sentence.

Being arrested in New Jersey starts a lengthy process that does not have to end in a finding of guilt or a prison sentence. There is reason to be optimistic if you have the experienced robbery defense attorneys from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall dedicated to your case. We can help you mount a strong and effective defense to any robbery case you may be facing, including:

Contact A New Jersey Robbery Attorney At Our Firm Today

If you have been arrested or face indictment for robbery in New Jersey, exercise your right to remain silent and contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall as soon as possible. Our accomplished criminal attorneys will work diligently to protect you from the potentially severe consequences of the charges against you.

Don’t face the severe punishment and lasting harm of a guilty verdict or plea in a robbery case without a solid legal defense. Contact us at any of our nine New Jersey law offices now for a free initial consultation about the legal options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions in NJ Robbery Cases

Is Robbery Considered A Violent Crime In New Jersey?

Robbery is absolutely considered a violent crime and, as such, falls under the No Early Release Act requiring that a defendant serve 85% of his/her term of imprisonment before they may be considered for parole.

How Much Prison Time Do You Receive For Armed Robbery?

Use of a weapon to carry out a robbery results in a first degree crime and 10-20 years in prison.

What Is The Prison Sentence For Strong Arm Robbery?

A robbery using force but no weapon is referred to as strong-arm robbery. A conviction results in 5-10 years in prison.

What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Theft?

Robbery is a theft accomplished through force or threats against another person. Theft by unlawful taking does not involve any use of violence against another person.

Can I Obtain Pretrial Intervention If I Am Charged With Robbery?

An individual is eligible for Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”) if they are charged with a fourth or third degree crime. You may only obtain admission to PTI for a  first or second degree crime if the prosecutor consents; a defendant is ineligible for the program otherwise.

Is Drug Court Available For Someone Facing A Robbery Offense?

Resolution of a case through Drug Court isn’t typically possible if the underlying offense involves violence or a weapon. As a result, robbery is not a violation that is amenable to Drug Court.

Is It Possible To Obtain Probation If I Am Convicted Of Robbery?

It is unusual to obtain probation if someone is convicted of robbery since a presumption of incarceration applies. Nonetheless, there are many instances where the attorneys in our firm have secured probation for clients charged with robbery.