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Robbery Attorney in Middlesex County

In New Jersey, robbery is a very serious offense. A robbery conviction carries a presumption of incarceration in state prison that can range up to 20 years. In fact, robbery charges are so severe, that its conviction falls under the No Early Release Act (NERA). Therefore, if convicted, you will have to serve a mandatory minimum of 85% of the sentence imposed before being granted parole eligibility. It is also important to note that if a firearm is used, then the Graves Act will apply and require additional mandatory incarceration. Robber and related theft crimes are often very complicated and entail issues that must be litigated by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Founding attorney William Proetta has handled well over a thousand criminal and municipal court cases that include a number of robbery charges. With an office conveniently located in Edison, our attorneys appear in court throughout Middlesex County, New Jersey including New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Sayreville, and Plainsboro. If you would like to speak with an experienced Middlesex County robbery lawyer contact us at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation.

How Can I Be Charged With Robbery If I Didn’t Have A Gun Or Steal Money?

We come across various forms of this question from new clients all the time. Theft of money and possession of a gun are not necessary factors for a robbery. When most people think of the word “robbery” you picture a bank robber armed to the teeth stealing tens of thousands of dollars and perhaps even taking hostages. Now those cases do exist and we have handled similar facts but the average robbery case is nothing like that. Most robbery cases are opportunistic and not planned out. For instance we come across a lot of robbery cases that started off as drug deals, street fights, or simple thefts. Let’s say for example you run into your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend out at the bar and after some back and forth he throws a punch at you and you hit him back and knock him to the ground; now to teach him a lesson you take his cellphone and throw it away – You just committed a “strong armed” robbery which is a second degree crime. This is because when you break it down in to its simplest form robbery is theft + force.

New Jersey Law For Robbery 2C:15-1

The statute for the crime of robbery in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, is listed below, in pertinent part, for your convenience

§ 2C:15-1. Robbery

a. Robbery defined. A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:

(1) Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon another; or

(2) Threatens another with or purposely puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or

(3) Commits or threatens immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree.

b. Grading. Robbery is a crime of the second degree, except that it is a crime of the first degree if in the course of committing the theft the actor attempts to kill anyone, or purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury, or is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.

What Are The Penalties for Robbery in New Jersey?

Any way you cut it, the penalties for robbery charges in New Jersey are steep. As enumerated in the statute above, robbery may be upgraded to 1st degree armed robbery if it is accompanied by an attempt to kill, the threat of a deadly weapon, or if the victim suffers “serious bodily injury”. The term “serious bodily injFury” pertains to bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. The term “deadly weapon” pertains to a firearm or other weapon or instrument capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. This includes an imitation firearm or BB gun. In order to understand just how serious theses cases are, we have created a custom chart that breaks down the the degree of the crime, the facts of the robbery and the mandatory penalties that follow.

1st Degree Robbery Serious bodily injury/attempt to kill or weapon used 10 – 20 years in prison; incarceration presumed
2nd Degree Robbery Force or threat of force to commit a theft 5 – 10 years in state prison; incarceration presumed

Elements of Robbery Crimes in New Jersey

1) Defendant committed a theft or attempted to commit a theft;

2) Defendant inflicted bodily injury, threatened to put in fear of bodily injury, or used force or threatened to commit any crime of the first or second degree;

3) Conduct occurred at the time of the [attempted] theft, or the immediate flight thereof;

4) Defendant acted purposely; even if bodily injury was inflicted recklessly.

Contact a North Brunswick Robbery Attorney to Discuss Your Case

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our attorneys often see less severe crimes such as shoplifting or simple assault quickly develop into 2nd degree robbery charges. This can occur, for example when during the commission of a shoplifting, force is used against a security guard. Another common example occurs during a physical fight if money or a cell phone is taken from the victim. No matter the particular facts of your case, you can rest assured we have probably come across it before. We represent clients charged with robbery in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey, including Monroe Township, Metuchen, Colonia, Cranbury, and North Brunswick. If you or a loved one has been charged with robbery or another criminal offense in New Jersey, feel free to contact our Middlesex County office anytime for a free initial consultation at (732) 659-9600. We will take the time to learn about the specific facts of your case and give you an honest assessment of what we think.