Recently, robbery has been in the news quite a bit.
A man was drugged and robbed at gunpoint in Minneapolis. Another was held up at AV Tobacco in Apple Valley. Why do these stories matter? Because when a particular crime starts to feel like it is exploding across our state, law enforcement officials tend to treat those charged with it more harshly as a way of showing the public that they’re fighting the surge.
This is bad news for anyone facing a charge, because robbery is already a criminal offense that carries significant penalties if you are convicted. If you have been charged with robbery in our state, it is essential to understand the nature of the charges, the potential consequences, and your legal rights.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you should know about being charged with Minnesota robbery.
How Is Robbery Defined by Minnesota Law?
Under Minnesota law, robbery is defined as the taking of personal property from another person by force or threat of imminent force. The key elements of the crime are:
- the use of force or the threat of force an
- the taking of property that belongs to someone else.
The force or threat of force must be directed towards the victim, and the property must be taken from the victim’s person or presence.
The Two Types of Robbery in Minnesota
Beyond the basic definition of robbery, Minnesota law distinguishes between two types of robbery: simple robbery and aggravated robbery.
Simple robbery is the basic form of the crime and involves taking property from another person by force or threat of force. Aggravated robbery, on the other hand, involves the use of a dangerous weapon or other aggravating factors, such as causing bodily harm to the victim.
What Are the Penalties for Robbery in Minnesota?
The penalties for robbery in Minnesota are severe. How severe the penalties are depends on the type of robbery and the specific circumstances of the offense.
Simple robbery – despite its name – is a felony offense in Minnesota, and a conviction can result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Aggravated robbery is an even more serious offense, and the penalties are correspondingly higher. A conviction for aggravated robbery can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.
Non-criminal Consequences Related to a Minnesota Robbery Conviction
In addition to the criminal penalties, a conviction for robbery can have serious consequences on your personal and professional life. A criminal record can make it difficult to:
- Find employment
- Secure housing
- Obtain loans
- And more
Defense Strategies That Can Be Used to Fight Robbery Charges in Minnesota
If you have been charged with robbery in Minnesota, it is essential to understand your legal rights and potential defenses.
Mistaken identity. One of the most common defenses to robbery charges is mistaken identity. This defense asserts that the prosecution has the wrong person and that you were not present at the scene of the crime.
Self-defense. Another possible defense is that the force used was justified, such as in self-defense.
Questionable ownership of property. One lesser-known defense that may be available in some cases is that the property taken was not the property of another person. This defense may be raised if there is a dispute over ownership of the property or if the property was abandoned or lost.
Improper procedure. In some cases, a defense may be based on procedural or constitutional violations, such as an unlawful search or seizure, or a violation of your Miranda rights.
The best way to find the defense strategy that is right for you is to work with an experienced criminal attorney who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and develop a strategy tailored to your needs.
Other Reasons to Work with a Knowledgeable Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with robbery in Minnesota, it is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. He or she will be able to:
- Protect your legal rights
- Advocate on your behalf
- Help you understand the charges, the potential penalties, and your legal options
- Conduct an independent investigation
- Collect evidence to support your case
- Identify potential defenses
- Negotiate with prosecutors to try to obtain a favorable plea agreement
- Fight the charges at trial if necessary
If you are facing robbery charges in Minnesota, do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you obtain legal representation, the better your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Prosecutors will begin putting together their case against you the second that you are arrested. Any delay in finding a lawyer to defend you only provides them with a bigger head start. Don’t wait to protect your future – reach out today.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is 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 has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.