ROBBERY UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
The definition of robbery is slightly complex. Washington code says that a person commits robbery if he “unlawfully takes personal property from the person of another or in his or her presence against his or her will by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury to that person or his or her property or the person or property of anyone.”
In the interest of simplifying, robbery is perhaps best understood by breaking the crime down into three elements. These include:
- The taking of personal property from another;
- This taking is done against a person’s will; and,
- The taking is committed by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury.
There are two different degrees of robbery that a person can get charged with in Washington. Robbery in the first degree is charged when an accused commits robbery and also:
- Is armed with a deadly weapon
- Displays a firearm or deadly weapon
- Causes bodily injury while committing the crime
- Robs a financial institution
Robbery in the second degree is essentially a robbery that does not meet the qualifications of robbery in the first degree. Washington code states that a person is guilty of robbery in the second degree if he or she commits robbery. Robbery in the first degree is treated as a class A felony while robbery in the second degree is treated as a class B felony.
PENALTIES FOR ROBBERY
The specific penalties for a Washington robbery charge differ depending on the degree of robbery committed. First-degree robbery is punishable by up to life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Second-degree robbery is punishable by up to ten years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
Further, a person must realize that he will have a criminal record if convicted of a robbery charge. There are many negative impacts of this. For example, a criminal record may lead to difficulty in finding employment and securing housing. Also, family and friends may no longer accept a person after convicted of a Washington crime.
LEGAL DEFENSES TO ROBBERY
Legal defenses to robbery exist. For example, a criminal defense attorney can argue that evidence was gathered in violation of procedural rules; and therefore, should get excluded from consideration. A criminal defense lawyer can also challenge the credibility and/or reliability of any statements from witnesses. Further, a robbery attorney can assert that the facts of a case cannot support a finding of the technical elements within robbery. Persons facing these charges should understand that the specific legal defense used will vary depending on the circumstances within a given case.
Robbery charges can alter a person’s life forever – in a very harmful way. Don’t attempt to fight such charges alone. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now for assistance. The robbery lawyers at Black Law are highly experienced in defending these charges. They are passionate in their defense and tireless in their efforts. They are also reliable on getting you the legal defense you deserve. Do the smart thing and contact them now.