A robbery charge in Minnesota is serious business. Even defendants who are convicted on simple robbery charges may be sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars and receive a fine of up to $20,000.
That’s why, if you have been charged with robbery, it is important to start building your defense strategy right away. It is possible to beat a Minnesota robbery charge, but you will need to take the time to learn Minnesota’s laws and reach out to an experienced professional who can help you craft a strong defense.
Take the following steps to start fighting Minnesota robbery charges and keep yourself from suffering the harsh consequences.
Learn Minnesota’s Definition of “Robbery”
Each state defines robbery differently. Let’s look at Minnesota’s robbery laws.
Minnesota Statute 609.24 defines simple robbery as a crime that occurs when someone “having knowledge of not being entitled thereto, takes personal property from the person or in the presence of another and uses or threatens the imminent use of force against any person to overcome the person’s resistance or powers of resistance to, or to compel acquiescence in, the taking or carrying away of the property.”
So, the presence of a victim has to exist for the crime to be robbery. If you take property from someone while they are not present, you have not committed robbery. (You may have committed theft, but that is a separate crime that typically is penalized less harshly.)
Additionally, if the prosecution cannot prove that you knew you weren’t entitled to the alleged victim’s property, you have not committed a robbery. They also have to prove that you used or threatened force in order to coerce someone into giving you their property.
Look at each piece of Minnesota’s definition of robbery with your lawyer. If one or all of these elements are missing from your case, you may be able to walk free without a conviction.
Understand That Minnesotans Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The United States operates on a policy that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. Someone may be arrested and charged due to reasonable suspicion, but they cannot be convicted unless the court believes without a reasonable doubt that the person was guilty of robbery.
Remember this as you are crafting your defense strategy. What are prosecutors going to do or say to prove that you are guilty, and how can you counteract that evidence in court? What evidence can you get thrown away? How can you and your legal team provide evidence that contradicts the story that the prosecution is going to bring to court?
Make Your Alibi as Strong as Possible
One of the most common ways to show innocence is to provide an alibi for where you were at the time of the robbery. Do you have receipts for purchases you made in a different part of town at the time of the alleged robbery? Are there any witnesses that can attest to your location at that time? Gather this proof before you head to court.
Other Common Defense Strategies for Minnesota Robbery Charges
If any of the following strategies apply to your case, you may be able to use them to fight charges:
- Involuntary intoxication
- False accusation
- You are the true owner of the property involved in the case
Of course, the best defense strategy is to enlist the help of a skilled Minnesota defense lawyer. Reach out to an attorney who has experience winning robbery cases, and learn more about the options you have for potentially walking away from charges without a conviction.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).