A robbery conviction will mark you as a violent criminal for the rest of your life. When you face these charges, you need to contact a criminal attorney as soon as possible. A Bridgeport robbery lawyer can be most effective if they are involved in your case from the first police interrogation.
Working with legal counsel gives you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome or defeating the charges entirely. Call Ruane Attorneys today to get started on your defense.
Categories of Robbery Crimes
According to Connecticut General Statute §53a-133, robbery is a specific type of theft that involves taking something from another person by force or threat of force. Some kind of one-on-one interaction is necessary. The threat of force does not need to be explicit — exposing a weapon or supposed weapon is enough to support a robbery charge.
Connecticut recognizes several types of robbery crimes, but all are violent felonies. A Bridgeport robbery attorney could explain the implications of having a record as a violent felon.
Robbery is a Class D felony. An offender faces a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
Bank robbery is a second-degree felony. Other conditions that could lead to second-degree robbery charges include:
- Committing robbery in concert with another person
- Displaying or threatening to use a weapon or dangerous instrument while committing a robbery
This crime is a Class C felony with up to 10 years in the state penitentiary and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
First-degree robbery is a Class B felony, the most serious robbery charge. A person might face this charge if they were armed with a deadly weapon, displayed or threatened to use a dangerous instrument, or caused someone a serious physical injury. If convicted of first-degree robbery, the offender faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, although the sentence could range up to 20 years and a $15,000 fine.
Defenses to Robbery Charges
To get a conviction on a robbery charge, a prosecutor must prove the defendant took something that did not belong to them by force or threat of force. Our Bridgeport lawyers could challenge the prosecutor’s evidence on one or both elements of the robbery charge.
Our legal team could examine all the evidence to ensure that the police followed proper procedures. If law enforcement failed to respect the suspect’s rights or mishandled evidence, we could ask the judge to suppress that evidence. Questioning the certainty, capacity, and motive of any witness who identified the suspect could also be effective in some cases.
Prosecutors often bring more serious charges than the crime merits. For example, brandishing a dangerous instrument could be a Class C or Class B felony. Our local robbery attorneys could argue that the prosecutor over-charged the defendant and insist on a lesser charge.
Diversion Programs for Robbery in Bridgeport
First offenders facing third-degree robbery charges could be eligible for Connecticut’s Accelerated Rehabilitation (AR) program. This program defers prosecution for a crime while a defendant participates in the program. If they complete AR, the prosecutor will dismiss the charges. The prosecutor will proceed with the charges if the defendant does not complete the program.
The AR program offers counseling, life-skills building, and rehabilitation depending on the participant’s needs. Participants must make restitution to their alleged victims and complete community service requirements. A participant in AR will be under court supervision for up to two years.
Even when the prosecutor recommends AR, a defendant’s acceptance into the program depends on whether a judge approves their application. A Bridgeport attorney could help a defendant complete the application to pursue this alternative to a robbery conviction.
Rely on a Bridgeport Attorney to Defend a Robbery Charge
A conviction for a violent felony like robbery could affect you for the rest of your life. When the stakes are this high, you need legal representation to advise you of your options and build a strong defense against the charges.
Call a Bridgeport robbery lawyer immediately upon your arrest. With help from Ruane Attorneys, you could achieve the best resolution possible under the circumstances. Contact us today to set up an initial meeting.