Robbery is a violent crime under Washington law. The crime is severe and can lead to haunting penalties and dire consequences. If you or a loved one is facing a robbery charge, it’s imperative that you consult an experienced Seattle robbery lawyer now for help. Know that the robbery attorneys at Black law have over two decades of combined experience defending these charges; and, we’re ready to fight for you.
What Exactly is Robbery?
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 be 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 where none of the factors establishing robbery in the first degree are present. 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.
What are the 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 a conviction on a robbery charge will result in a serious criminal record. There are many negative impacts of this. For example, a criminal record may lead to difficulty in finding employment and securing housing. Also, and significantly, both first and second degree robbery convictions count as strikes under Washington’s “three strikes” law.
Are There Legal Defenses to Robbery?
Yes, 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 be 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.
Can Black Law Help?
Yes. 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 in getting you the legal defense you deserve. Do the smart thing and contact them now.