Stratford Robbery Lawyer
Many people in Stratford think of robbery as virtually the same as any other theft. But in actuality robbery is a form of theft that is treated as a much more serious offense because it is considered a violent crime, even though the person taking action is attempting to gain property rather than cause harm.
Connecticut law defines three degrees of robbery and all of them are felonies, regardless of the value of the property involved. So, if you are facing robbery charges, it is a good idea to work with an attorney who understands how local courts prosecute robbery cases and how to build the best defense. An experienced Stratford robbery lawyer can explain your options for fighting those charges so that you can reach the best possible outcome. Work with a proactive theft defense attorney that could fight for you.
Understanding What Makes Robbery Different from Other Forms of Theft
The definition of robbery is set forth in Section 53a-133 of the Connecticut code and it is based on the definition of larceny, which is described in Section 53a-119. Larceny is essentially the class common law term for theft. This crime is committed when people wrongfully take or hold someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property or to keep the property for themselves or anyone else who is not the owner.
When larceny is committed with the use or force or threatened use of force, then the crime becomes robbery. The individual committing the robbery may use force to overcome the property owner’s resistance or as a means to compel the owner to give up the property.
So, for instance, if a person saw a handbag belonging to someone else hanging from the back of a chair, grabbed the handbag, and kept the contents, that would be a larceny. If that same person grabbed the handbag from the arms of the owner, the owner tried to hang onto the bag but the person taking the bag hit the owner on the arm to cause the owner to let go of the bag, then that taking becomes a robbery because it involved the use of force.
Degrees of Offenses
As with many offenses, there are different degrees of the charge depending on the specific circumstances. What the charge will be, depends on whether any aggravating factors were present.
Robbery in the Third-Degree
A basic robbery as defined in Section 53a-133 is treated as a robbery in third-degree unless aggravating circumstances exist which would increase the severity of the crime. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-§136.) Third-degree robbery is a class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Robbery in the Second-Degree
The addition of certain factors will make a robbery into the class C felony of second-degree robbery. The maximum penalties for the offense are doubled, with the potential for up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine as high as $10,000.
Factors that will escalate a robbery to second-degree robbery include:
- Working with an accomplice
- Threatening the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Committing larceny in a bank and causing bank employees to fear for their physical safety or the safety of others
It should be noted that the individual committing the robbery does not actually need to use, show or even possess an actual weapon so long as that person uses words or conduct to suggest that a weapon is available. (See Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-135.)
Robbery in the First-Degree
The most serious robbery offense, first-degree robbery, is committed when someone either causes serious physical injury to another while committing the robbery, is armed with a deadly weapon, uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument, or displays or pretends to possess a firearm. This offense is a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. A Stratford robbery lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that a person may face.
Talking to a Stratford Robbery Attorney
Since all robberies are serious felonies, it is important to take action as soon as possible to collect and preserve available evidence to build the best possible defense.
A Stratford robbery lawyer can provide advice at every step in the process, advocate on your behalf, and help ensure that evidence is presented in the most favorable light. All these factors added together to give you the greatest chances for success. Call now to find out how their experience can work for you.