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New York Vehicular Homicide Frequently Asked Questions

What is robbery in New York?

Like the crime of grand larceny, robbery is a form of felony theft. The difference between grand larceny and robbery is that robbery involves the use of physical force, or a threat of the use of physical force. The force can be used in order to overcome resistance to the taking of the property, or to retain the property after taking it. It is not necessary that the use of force or threat of the use of force was against the victim of the robbery. If the defendant harmed or threatened to harm a third person in order to steal property that would be enough for a robbery charge.

What are the possible consequences of a robbery conviction in New York?

Because robbery is a felony anyone convicted of robbery faces the possibility of going to prison. The specific sentence that a defendant receives depends on two main factors: the specific robbery charge, and the defendant’s criminal history.

In New York there are 3 different types of robbery: robbery in the third degree, second degree, and first degree. Robbery that does not result in injury or does not involve the use of a dangerous weapon is the least serious robbery charge- robbery in the third degree. It is a Class D felony, meaning that the possible prison sentence is up to 7 years. The prosecutor will seek to charge a defendant with second degree robbery, a Class C felony, if the defendant displayed a weapon, caused physical harm, stole a vehicle, or was aided by another person.

The most serious robbery charge, robbery in the first degree, involves the defendant having a deadly weapon, having a dangerous instrument, or seriously injuring the victim. As a class B felony, if convicted the defendant faces up to 25 years in prison.

Other factors that will impact sentencing include the defendant’s criminal record, use of a gun, the severity of the injury to the victim, location of crime, number of accomplices, and what was stolen.

Another point to understand is that because robbery can involve the use of dangerous weapons, if a robbery results in someone being killed, robbery can be the basis for a first degree felony murder charge in New York.

What are the defenses to a robbery charge?

Before someone who is accused of robbery can be convicted, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must prove all of the elements that are part of the specific robbery offense with which the defendant is charged. The defendant then has the right rebut each element by defenses. For example, if a defendant is charged with robbery in the first degree based on having a deadly weapon, the prosecutor must show that the defendant did indeed have a deadly weapon. An affirmative defense is evidence that even though the defendant did have a firearm, the firearm was not loaded. Other common defenses to robbery charges include duress, entrapment, intoxication, and belief that the property at issue was truly his or her own.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are facing a robbery charge, it is critical that you have experienced representation as early in the case as possible. The skilled criminal attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have more than 20 years of experience successfully representing clients in New York charged with felonies and misdemeanors, and have the skill and resources to put on the best defense possible. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Queens, and Westchester County.

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