Robbery in Arizona is considered a more serious crime than its burglary and retail theft counterparts, mainly because it involves the use of force as a means to achieve the offender’s goals.
Since robbery is a victim crime, it is considered very serious in Arizona and carries harsh penalties. It is certain that the freedom that you enjoyed before the arrest will certainly be much less so after a robbery conviction.
With all the potential negative ramifications that come with a robbery allegation, be it legal, social or professional, an informed and aggressive approach to your defense strategy is vital. Having capable legal counsel and a strong game plan can make all the difference in a case such as this. Not taking the steps necessary to clear your name can put you in a difficult position with the probability of jail time and fines being much more likely.
Before all else though, it is important that you understand the Arizona laws which govern the act of robbery, along with the potential penalties that come with a conviction. This will allow for a better grasp of the severity that a robbery allegation brings with and hopefully a sense of how to go about dealing with this serious and complicated situation.
Robbery under Arizona Law
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes §13.1902, a person commits robbery if, in the course of taking any property of another against his will, that person threatens or uses force with the intent either to coerce surrender of property or to prevent resistance.
The specific definitions of words included in robbery and aggravated robbery statutes in Arizona are as follows:
• Force means any physical act directed against a person as a means of gaining control of property.
• Threat means a verbal or physical menace of imminent physical injury to a person.
A robbery offense can become an aggravated robbery, according to ARS §13.1903 when:
• One or more accomplices who are physically present during the robbery help the defendant commit the criminal act;
• There is grievous bodily harm involved in the robbery; or
• If a weapon is used during the commission of the robbery, which is also known as armed robbery.
Robbery in the state of Arizona is punishable as a felony offense. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, an alleged offender can be charged with robbery, aggravated robbery or armed robbery.
According to ARS § 13.1902, a basic robbery offense is generally a class 4 felony, which can result in the following punishments: First time offender – 1 to 3.75 years in prison and/or $750 to $150,000 in fines; Second time offender – 2.25 to 7.5 years in prison and/or $750 to $150,000 in fines; not eligible for probation; Third time offender – 6 to 15 years in prison and/or $750 to $150,000 in fines; not eligible for probation.
Aggravated Robbery, on the other hand, is classified under ARS § 13.1903 as a class 3 felony, which can result in a jail sentence of between 2 and 15 years in prison, and / or fines of between $750 and $150,000, depending on the offenders previous criminal history.
Additional factors are considered by the court when determining the length of the prison sentence and other penalties, including: mitigating or aggravated factors; seriousness and nature of the robbery; injury or harm to a victim and prior convictions.
With a detailing of these basic laws and penalties, you should now understand the scope of this issue and, in turn, be committed to pursuing the most effective course of action for your particular situation.