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Hamilton NJ Robbery Defense Lawyer
Robbery is one of the most serious offenses under the New Jersey criminal code. As you will read below, if convicted, a Defendant could be facing anywhere from five to twenty years in a New Jersey State Prison. To make matters worse, based on the new bail reforms that kicked into effect January 1, 2017, there is a strong likelihood that a Defendant could be held in the Mercer County Jail without bail pending trial. In order to do so, the prosecution will need to be successful at what is known as a Detention Hearing. Most clients in New Jersey that are charged with robbery also find themselves facing aggravated assault, theft, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. These are all extremely serious charges and require the assistance of an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney.
Proetta & Oliver is an experienced Mercer County criminal defense firm. Our entire careers have been dedicated solely to defending those charged with criminal offenses in New Jersey. Throughout his career, Mr. Oliver has represented numerous clients charged with the offense of robbery. Mr. Oliver prefers to be hands on with every file that he handles, so if you would like to speak with him personally, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our office serves all of Mercer County including towns like Hamilton, Lawrenceville, West Windsor, Hopewell, Trenton, Hightstown, Ewing, Pennington and Robbinsville. If you would like to come into our office for an initial face to face consultation then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. We fully understand that being charged with a criminal offense, let alone a serious offense like robbery can be an extremely stressful time. Therefore, we are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. Now here is a breakdown in the offense of robbery, including what the difference is between a first and second degree.
How to Defend Robbery Charges in Lawrenceville NJ
The offense of robbery is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. Depending on the facts surrounding the offense a client could be charged with either a robbery in the first or second degree. The difference between the two could be up to an additional fifteen year prison sentence. In order to be convicted of robbery in the second degree, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements and they are:
- The Defendant was in the process of committing a theft;
- While committing the theft the Defendant:
- Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon the victim; or
- Threatens the victim with or puts them in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Commits or threatens to commit any crime of the first or second degree.
In order to be convicted of a first degree robbery offense the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt one additional element:
- That while committing the theft the Defendant was armed with, or used or threatened the immediate use of a deadly weapon; or
- That the Defendant attempted to kill anyone; or
- The Defendant inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily injury.
What is a “Deadly Weapon”?
A deadly weapon has been defined as “any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance (whether animate or inanimate) … is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury or … would lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. As you can tell, this is extremely broad and allows for a lot of lead way when trying to determine what qualifies as a deadly weapon.
What are the Penalties for Robbery in NJ?
First Degree Robbery Conviction:
A Defendant would be facing anywhere between ten (10) to twenty (20) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $200,000 and a felony criminal record. In addition, this offense falls under the No Early Release Act (NERA). NERA in essence requires that a Defendant serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole. Lastly, a Defendant charged with a first degree robbery would be barred from participation in diversionary programs like Drug Court and Pretrial Intervention Program as well.
Second Degree Robbery Conviction:
A Defendant would be facing anywhere between five (5) to ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $150,000 and a felony criminal record. In addition, this offense falls under the No Early Release Act (NERA). NERA in essence requires that a Defendant serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole. Lastly, a Defendant charged with a second degree robbery would NOT be barred from participation in diversionary programs like Drug Court and Pretrial Intervention Program as well. As you can, the penalties drastically differ between a first and second degree robbery conviction.
Robbery Defense Attorneys in Mercer County, New Jersey
As you can tell from above, the offense of robbery carries with it the potential for life changing consequences if convicted. If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, robbery, armed robbery, terroristic threats, theft by deception or receiving stolen property the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our office routinely appears in Courts throughout Mercer County including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Robbinsville Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, the Hightstown Municipal Court and the Ewing Municipal Court. If you would like to have a free initial consultation today about your pending charges then please contact us at (609)789-0779. We are available around the clock, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.