If you are accused of robbery, there could be very significant penalties at stake. While most theft crimes are considered property crimes, robbery is considered a violent crime against the person. Depending on the type of robbery with which you are charged, you could be facing up to life in prison.
What is Robbery?
Someone who discovers their property missing may say they have been “robbed.” This is actually larceny or burglary. While larceny and burglary generally depend upon stealth, robbery is about the force or fear used to commit the crime. Robbery is defined by Oklahoma law as “a wrongful taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear” (21 O.S. § 791). The state divides robbery into several classifications, including first degree, second degree, conjoint, and armed robbery.
First Degree Robbery
Defined in 21 O.S. § 797, first degree robbery occurs under one or more of four specific circumstances:
1. inflicts serious bodily injury upon the person;
2. threatens a person with immediate serious bodily injury;
3. intentionally puts a person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury; or
4. commits or threatens to commit a felony upon the person.
First degree robbery is a felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison. It is also an “85 percent crime,” under O.S. 21 § 13.1, a person convicted of this crime must to serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before the possibility of parole. With that said, there is case law that brings the minimum down to 5 years, but judicial notice should be invoked.
Second Degree Robbery
Second degree robbery does not carry the same requirement that the force results in serious bodily injury or that the fear is the intentional threat of serious bodily injury. Second degree robbery is a lesser offense than first degree robbery, and it is not an “85 percent crime”. Robbery in the second degree brings a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Conjoint robbery, or robbery committed by two or more people conspiring or acting together to accomplish the robbery is a serious felony where each person involved faces 5 to 50 years in prison. Like first degree robbery, conjoint robbery is an “85 percent crime”.
Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm (21 O.S. § 801) carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. It is important to note that this law also includes failed attempts. It does not matter if the gun was not loaded, or even if the “firearm” used was a fake. Because the motive behind the use of an unloaded or imitation gun is still “force or fear,” it is considered armed robbery even with a toy gun. Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm is an “85 percent crime”.
Robbery is a Serious Felony
Robbery charges are very serious and the DA’s office prosecutes these cases aggressively. You or your loved one could be facing decades in prison, mandatory minimum sentencing, and even registration with law enforcement for placement on the Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry. Call us today at 918-884-7791 to discuss how we can defend you or your loved one from a Robbery charge.