The state of Arizona leaves very little leniency for robbery charges and aggravated robbery charges, prosecuting them both as both as felonies. Felony convictions like this can have a lasting impact on your life and stay on your criminal record forever. This can prevent you from obtaining certain jobs and make it difficult to rent or buy housing for the rest of your life. A felony conviction on your record can also mean harsher sentences in the future, should you ever receive additional criminal charges. That’s why, if you’re facing robbery charges in Arizona, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your future.
If you or someone close to you has been charged with or accused of aggravated robbery in Arizona, the first and more important thing you can do is to contact the Belén Law Firm right away. You need a competent legal team who is familiar with Arizona law and the Arizona court system and has plenty of experience handling criminal cases like your own. At the Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix robbery defense attorneys are ready to fight your charges aggressively and get the best possible outcome in your case. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation at 602-715-0908.
What Does Robbery Mean?
Robbery and theft are sometimes thought to be the same thing, but they do not have the same legal definitions. Theft is actually a broad umbrella term that can include robbery. According to A.R.S § 13-902, the definition of robbery is using force or threatening to use force to take personal property from another person. The person must be present and be aware of the theft for it to be considered a robbery. For example, force includes snatching a purse or phone directly from a victim. Pickpocketing someone, however, would not be considered robbery since the person was not aware of the property stolen and the perpetrator did not use force.
What is Aggravated Robbery?
Aggravated robbery is a robbery that occurs with one or more accomplices present. An accomplice is someone that is present during the committing of the crime and knowingly participates. For instance, if someone threatens an intended victim with violence while another steals their purse, Arizona law considers this to be aggravated robbery. Unlike armed robbery, the perpetrator does not have to use a dangerous weapon to commit an aggravated robbery.
The Arizona Revised Statute 13-903 states the definition of aggravated robbery and the felony classification. The full text of the statute is as follows:
- A person commits aggravated robbery if in the course of committing robbery as defined in section 13-1902, such person is aided by one or more accomplices actually present.
- Aggravated robbery is a class 3 felony.
Is There A Difference Between Aggravated Robbery and Armed Robbery Charges?
Aggravated robbery and armed robbery are two completely different crimes, according to Arizona law. As such, the penalties for these crimes are different. For armed robbery charges, the perpetrator or their accomplice must have possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon and the perpetrator uses or makes a threat to use it. A deadly weapon is anything that can cause serious bodily injury. Deadly weapons can be obvious, such as a gun or a knife, but they can also include blunt objects that can cause serious bodily injury, such as a brick or a tire iron. A dangerous weapon can be anything that can cause reasonable fear of bodily injury.
Armed robbery cases can also include possession of a simulated deadly weapon. Simulated weapons can be anything. A banana held to an alleged victim’s back to mimic a gun during a robbery can increase the charge from robbery to armed robbery. A hand in a jacket pocket meant to mimic a firearm or a toy gun can have the same effect.
During armed robbery cases, the perpetrator does not have to threaten anyone with the weapon, simulated or otherwise. The perpetrator doesn’t even have to use the weapon. Possession of the weapon alone is enough for police and prosecutors to pursue armed robbery charges over aggravated robbery charges.
Is Aggravated Robbery a Felony?
Arizona felonies fall into six classes. A Class 1 felony is the highest offense. Arizona reserves this class for first-degree and second-degree murder. A robbery, on the other hand, is considered a Class 4 felony, while armed robbery is a Class 2 felony.
Aggravated robbery is a crime that is a Class 3 felony, which means that it comes with a prison sentence between two years and almost nine years. The sentence is typically on the longer side because aggravated crimes carry a harsher sentence.
A felony can stay on your record for the rest of your life. Felonies can prevent someone from getting jobs, certain housing, and even passports. This experience can be stressful and leave anyone full of fear. Contact an experienced Arizona theft lawyer at the Belén Law Firm for a realistic outlook on your situation and a strong defense against these charges.
How Long Can You Go to Jail for Robbery?
Robbery is a major offense, as it leads to a felony theft charge in Arizona. Depending on a defendant’s previous criminal record, the circumstances of the crime, and other case-specific factors, a perpetrator convicted of robbery can serve anywhere between one year and 12.5 years in prison. Armed robbery would have the harshest and longest sentence out of the different degrees of robbery, as it is a Class 2 felony.
Arizona Aggravated Robbery Sentence
As previously mentioned, aggravated robbery is a Class 3 felony which means it is punishable by a prison sentence between two years and eight years, nine months. The punishment can also include a hefty fine.
Attempted Aggravated Robbery
For attempted aggravated robbery, there must be proven intent to deprive the victim of their personal property and the intent to use force or threat of force. Even if nothing was taken and no victim was harmed, the defendant can still be accused of attempted aggravated robbery and receive criminal charges.
Can You Get Probation for Aggravated Robbery?
Probation can be a viable punishment depending on the circumstances of the crime. Sometimes this is done in conjunction with a fine.
A defendant may only be eligible for probation if this is the first-offense crime. Second and third offenses are not eligible for probation and have increasing consequences. Aggravated robbery can result in a seven-year probation period.
Possible Defenses for Aggravated Robbery
To convict someone of aggravated robbery, the prosecution team must prove that the defendant:
- had the intent to deprive someone of their personal property;
- had an accomplice who knowingly and willingly participated; AND
- used force or threat of force (or their accomplice did).
There are many defenses that criminal defense attorneys can employ. The typical defense is mistaken identity. Perpetrators are not typically caught at the scene with the evidence still on them. If there is evidence that can prove the defendant committed the robbery, the defense team can argue that there was no accomplice and get the charge downgraded to a simple robbery. In some cases, a skilled lawyer can get the charges dismissed or downgraded to a misdemeanor.
No matter the case, the qualified attorneys at the Belén Law Firm are committed to fighting for you. We can provide legal advice, review police reports, and gather evidence in your favor to obtain the best outcome for your situation.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Arrested For Aggravated Robbery?
If you or someone close to you has been charged with aggravated robbery, remain calm. Remember that as citizens, we have constitutional rights including being innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt by a jury of our peers. An accusation or a charge is not a conviction. Politely decline to answer any questions by police until first speaking to your lawyer. Do not attempt to contact the alleged victim. You should only share confidential or sensitive information directly with your lawyer or defense team.
Do I Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney?
You’ve heard it said many times before: you have the right to obtain legal representation to defend against the charges brought against you and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you by the state. Unfortunately, many court-appointed lawyers have an extremely high caseload and are constantly busy. They may not have time to answer all the questions you have or properly examine the details of your case. That’s why it is important that you seek the help of an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can dedicate all of their time and resources to building and strengthening your defense.
At the Belén Law Firm, we thoroughly research every case and every possible defense. We also make ourselves available to you 24 hours a day because we know that this is a stressful situation and one that doesn’t stay between normal business hours. If someone has accused you or a loved one of aggravated robbery, a criminal defense attorney at the Belén Law Firm is ready to fight for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Phoenix, AX Lawyer for Aggravated Robbery Defense
Belén Olmedo Guerra founded the Belén Law Firm with the mission to provide the best criminal defense possible. We believe that evidence is the most important part of a case, not the allegations. We fight aggressively to defend every client charged with criminal offenses because we believe that every case deserves high-stakes treatment. Our 24-hour criminal defense attorneys can answer any questions you have about your case. Contact us today at 602-715-0908 to schedule your free consultation.