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Robbery: NY Penal Law Article 160

There is only one accurate way to describe New York Robbery crimes – Penal Law 160.05, 160.10 and 160.15. Whether it involves punching someone and taking their wallet in Manhattan, brandishing a knife and stealing an iPhone in Westchester County, discharging a firearm in Queens during the theft of a vehicle, or a group of five men and women working together to rip jewelry from another’s neck, it is an extremely serious offense. Arguably, depending the degree, it is one of the most serious on the proverbial books. If you fail to implement the best defense with your criminal lawyer to a Robbery arrest or indictment, expect that if you are convicted the District Attorney will pursue your imprisonment and incarceration when the judge slams down his or her gavel.

Definitions and Elements

The easiest way to understand an Article 160 offense is to see it as a forcible stealing. If you use or threaten the immediate use of physical force to take property from another person, regardless of its value, size, quantity, or any other trait, you have violated one of the three degrees of this offense.

The three degrees of this crime that both you and your criminal attorney can expect to confront at your arraignment, in the Grand Jury or during a trial are Robbery in the Third Degree, Penal Law 160.05, Robbery in the Second Degree, Penal Law 160.10, an Robbery in the First Degree, Penal Law 160.15. Each of these offenses share the common foundation as reflected above but when there is an injury, more than one assailants, or a weapon is used, the crime is exacerbated and raised to a higher level.

Penalties and Punishment

Like other violent felonies found in New York’s criminal law, there is a strong likelihood that a conviction for any degree will land you in a New York State prison even if not mandated. In fact, if convicted of the Second or First Degree offenses, the legal code requires incarceration for a minimum of three and one-half (3.5) and five (5) years respectively.

The degree of the crime directly relates to the potential punishment and possible sentence. Robbery in the Third Degree, Penal Law 160.05, is a class “D” felony. As such, a first-time offender would face no mandatory minimum term of jail if convicted, but a judge could sentence him or her to a maximum term of seven years in prison. Robbery in the Second Degree, Penal Law 160.10, is a “C” violent felony that carries a three and one-half year minimum term of prison and a maximum of fifteen years incarceration for this same first-time violator. Lastly, this same person, if convicted of Robbery in the First Degree, Penal Law 160.15, a class “B” violent offense, faces up to twenty-five years in jail with a minimum of five years in prison. Frightening? No doubt. Your life on the line? Absolutely.

Example and Hypothetical Scenario

The use of force could be as simple as a slap, a threat to strike a victim, or the actual use of some type of weapon. Compounding matters, if you use an instrument that normally is not a weapon, a heavy briefcase or umbrella, for example, in a manner that is threatening and in a way that could hurt someone, prosecutors have the legal authority and ability to elevate a lower level crime and “bump it up” to a more serious violation. While a gun or firearm will no doubt be prosecuted much more vigorously by the District Attorney in Rockland, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester, Manhattan or any other county in New York City and the Hudson Valley, you need not have an obvious weapon to expose yourself to a violent felony offense. For example, whether a person uses an imitation pistol or something as innocuous as a coffee mug, or even a mere shove in the back, all these scenarios can result in a felony charge when combined with stealing property.

Related Offenses and Collateral Issues

Remember, not only can a misunderstanding that turns physical go from a misdemeanor theft offense such as Petit Larceny to a felony Robbery, experienced criminal lawyers representing clients in these arrests routinely find clients charged with additional crimes of equal or greater significance including varying degrees of Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Assault, Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.

Your Case, Your Defense, Your Future

Your best defense to any arrest, indictment or trial is based in the evidence, facts and circumstances of your particular case combined with your counsel’s ability to challenge or mitigate the same. Armed with this information, identifying your best defense as early in the legal process and retaining the right defense team will put you in the strongest place to overcome any allegation and avoid crippling consequences including visa revocation, the loss of employment with NYC and other governmental agencies, and the compromising of your medical license as a nurse, physician or other healthcare provider.

Whether you find yourself the subject of a warrant, in custody post-arrest, facing an indictment or the prospect of a trial is near, there is only one viable defense. That is, retaining legal counsel with the knowledge and experience to advocate in the strongest and most compelling manner. The defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law are suited and ready to represent you not just today, but outside the courtroom though the many tomorrows you will be fortunate enough to encounter. When facing decimation of life, liberty and career, rely on experience, knowledge and advocacy.

Call the former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys and defense lawyers at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today.

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