Robbery as a First Degree Theft Crime
Robbery offenses have two critical components: a theft and an act (or threat) of violence. Combining these factors, the State considers these crimes extremely egregious and punishes those convicted accordingly. Specifically, robbery can be classified as a first or second-degree crime. The critical distinction involves whether or not the defendant was armed, inflicted, or attempted to inflict injury during the commission of the alleged offense. If one of these criteria is met, you may be charged with first-degree robbery, the most serious type of crime under the New Jersey Criminal Code. All other robbery offenses are considered second-degree crimes, which also entail a lengthy term of incarceration. Notably, although carjacking is a specific type of robbery, it is considered a separate offense, with an extended sentencing range that can subject those convicted to up to 30 years in prison.
Robbery Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:15 -1
Robbery offenses are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:15 -1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which reads:
A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:
- Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon another; or
- Threatens another with or purposely puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Commits or threatens immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree.
Robbery is a crime of the second degree, except that it is a crime of the first degree if in the course of committing the theft the actor attempts to kill anyone, or purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury, or is armed with, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.
Penalties for Robbery in NJ
As outlined above, robbery can be classified as a first or second-degree crime, both of which are indictable felonies under New Jersey law. This means that these cases are adjudicated at the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. With regard to the potential consequences of a robbery conviction:
- First Degree Robbery: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years
- Second Degree Robbery: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years
It is important to note that robbery crimes in either degree are also subject to the stringent guidelines of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires a defendant to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible parole.
Charged with Robbery in New Jersey?
The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have prosecuted and defended a multitude of individuals charged with robbery during their careers. With in-depth knowledge of the elements involved in robbery cases, the attorneys at Breslow Law Offices now dedicate themselves to constructing compelling arguments for their clients charged with these offenses. Contact their office today for a free consultation about your case.