If you are accused of robbery, there could be very significant penalties at stake. While most theft crimes are considered property crimes, robbery is considered a violent crime against the person.
Depending on the type of robbery with which you are charged, you could be facing up to life in prison. Call now to speak with an Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer about your robbery charge, the potential penalties you face, and how we can defend you against a serious felony charge.
It is not uncommon for someone who discovers his or her property to be missing to say he or she has been “robbed.” Likewise, someone who is taken advantage of in a shady business deal might say he or she was “robbed.” Typically, these types of theft are not robbery, but larceny, burglary, or fraud.
While larceny and fraud generally depend upon secrecy or deceit, robbery is confrontational and uses force or fear in order to commit the crime. Robbery is defined by Oklahoma law as “a wrongful taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear” (21 O.S. § 791).
In other words, confrontation, intimidation, and real or threatened violence are the hallmarks of robbery.
But not all robbery is equal under Oklahoma law. The state divides robbery into several classifications, including first degree robbery, second degree robbery, conjoint robbery, and armed robbery.
First degree robbery involves serious bodily injury or the threat of immediate serious bodily injury. Defined in 21 O.S. § 797, first degree robbery occurs under one or more of four specific circumstances:
First degree robbery is a felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison. First degree robbery is an “85 percent crime,” one of 22 crimes listed in 21 O.S. §13.1 that require a person convicted to serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before even having the hope of parole.
While second degree robbery still requires force or fear to accomplish the theft from a person, it does not carry the same requirement that the force results in serious bodily injury or that the fear is the intentional threat of serious bodily injury.
Second degree robbery is a lesser offense than first degree robbery, and it is not an 85 percent crime. Still, the consequences of conviction are severe. Robbery in the second degree is a felony, and conviction brings a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Conjoint robbery, or robbery committed by two or more people conspiring or acting together to accomplish the robbery is a serious felony. Whereas second degree robbery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, acting conjointly carries minimum sentencing and enhanced penalties for all involved parties. In robbery committed by two or more people, each person involved faces 5 to 50 years in prison.
Like first degree robbery, conjoint robbery is an 85 percent crime.
Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm (21 O.S. § 801) carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, but anyone convicted of three separate and distinct felonies in committing armed robbery faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life behind bars. It is important to note that the law does not only apply to accomplished robbery, but also a failed attempt. Likewise, a person may be convicted of armed robbery even if the gun was not loaded, or even if the “firearm” used was a fake. Because the motive behind the use of an unloaded or imitation gun is still “force or fear,” it is considered armed robbery even with a toy gun.
Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm is an 85 percent crime. Anyone sentenced to life in prison for this crime would have to serve more than 38 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Robbery charges are no laughing matter. You could be facing decades in prison, mandatory minimum sentencing, and even registration with law enforcement for placement on the Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry. Call (405) 417-3842 to get started with your defense.