Use of force to take something or attempt to take something from another person is the crime of robbery. This violent crime can result in serious criminal charges, especially if a gun or other weapon is used in its commission. This violent crime is a felony and requires the help of an experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney.
The defining characteristic of robbery is force. While theft is the stealing of property as well, it is often done through more duplicitous means and does not involve threats or fear. Robbery occurs when someone uses brute force to simply take another person’s property. If you have been charged with robbery, you can potentially face many years in prison.
The severity of the robbery charge you face depends on a number of factors, including:
- Whether a weapon was used
- Whether a person was injured
- How seriously the person was injured
These variables all will come into play when it comes time to face a robbery charge. An experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney will understand each element of a particular robbery charge and aggressively challenge all evidence against you.
First Degree Robbery
Robbery in the First Degree, R.S.Mo. 569.020, combines a property crime with a violent crime. This crime requires the prosecution to prove that a person took property by force and in doing so, the alleged robber:
- Caused serious injury to another person
- Was armed with a deadly weapon
- Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument
- Displays or threatens the use of what appears to be a weapon
A person can be charged with first degree robbery if, for instance, they hold someone up in a dark alley using a gun. Because they are attempting to steal property and are using a gun to do so, this would be robbery in the first degree. It would be robbery in the first degree even if this alleged robber had a fake gun or simply what appeared to be a gun. This crime only requires that an object “appear” to be a weapon.
Likewise, if someone snatches a purse and runs down the street only to be tackled by another person, they can be charged with robbery in the first degree if they were in possession of a gun or knife. Even if the defendant didn’t use the weapon in commission of the robbery, simply having it on their person escalates this crime to a Class A felony. Because the penalties for a Class A felony can include life in prison, it is imperative that a defendant contact a qualified St. Louis criminal defense attorney immediately after they have been charged.
Second Degree Robbery
Second Degree Robbery, R.S.Mo. 569.030, occurs when someone forcibly steals property from another person where no serious injury occurred. Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony in Missouri.
St. Louis criminal defense attorney Richard R. Lozano has been handling robbery charges since 1994. He puts this experience to work for you, aggressively fighting any and all criminal charges you may face. He has helped clients in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, and Franklin County facing serious felony charges and has worked to get them the best possible outcomes for their respective cases.
For a free consultation regarding your robbery charge or for any felony charges you may be facing, contact St. Louis criminal defense attorney Richard R. Lozano today at (314) 456-4567.