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Robbery

Everything you need to know when charged with robbery, and how we attack the issue head on to either vindicate you or mitigate your charges

What Are the Different Robbery Charges in Michigan?

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used force or violence against, assaulted, or put in fear the complainant.
  2. The accused did so while he/she was in the course of committing a larceny. A “larceny” is the taking and movement of someone else’s property or money with the intent to take it away from that person permanently.
  3. The complainant was present while the accused was in the course of committing the larceny.

Special Considerations

  • The “complainant” need not be the owner or rightful possessor of the property taken. He or she can be “any person who is present” while the defendant was in the course of committing or attempting to commit the underlying larceny.
  • A completed larceny is no longer necessary to support a conviction for the crime of robbery or armed robbery. Attempted larceny is sufficient.

Penalty

Felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used force or violence against, assaulted, or put in fear the complainant.
  2. The accused did so while he/she was in the course of committing a larceny. A “larceny” is the taking and movement of someone else’s property or money with the intent to take it away from that person permanently.
  3. The complainant was present while the defendant was in the course of committing a larceny.
  4. While in the course of committing the larceny, the defendant did one or more of the following:
    1. possessed a weapon designed to be dangerous and capable of causing death or serious injury;
    2. possessed any other object capable of causing death or serious injury that was used as a weapon;
    3. possessed any other object used or fashioned in a way to lead the person who was present to reasonably believe that it was a dangerous weapon; or
    4. represented orally or otherwise that he or she was in possession of a weapon;

Special Considerations

  • The “complainant” need not be the owner or rightful possessor of the property taken. He or she can be “any person who is present” while the defendant was in the course of committing the underlying larceny.
  • A dangerous weapon is any object that is used in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death. The way an object is used or intended to be used in an assault determines whether or not it is a dangerous weapon. If an object is used in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death, it is a dangerous weapon.

Penalty

Felony punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of years. If an aggravated assault or serious injury is inflicted, the person is subject to a sentence of a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused assaulted the complainant by either attempting or threatening to do immediate injury or by committing an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate injury.
  2. The accused was armed with one or more of the following:
    1. a weapon designed to be dangerous and capable of causing death or serious injury; or
    2. any other object capable of causing death or serious injury that the defendant used as a weapon; or
    3. any other object used or fashioned in a manner to lead the person who was assaulted to reasonably believe that it was a dangerous weapon.
  3. At the time of the assault, the accused intended to commit robbery.

Special Considerations

  • It is not necessary that the crime be completed or that the defendant have actually taken any money or property. However, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the assault the defendant intended to commit robbery.
  • A fake or toy gun would fall under 2(C) above.

Penalty 

Felony punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of years.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the accused assaulted with force or violence by either attempting or threatening to do immediate injury or committing an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery.
  2. At the time of the assault, the defendant intended to commit robbery.

Special Considerations

  • It is not necessary that the crime be completed or that the defendant have actually taken any money or property. However, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the assault the defendant intended to commit robbery.

Penalty 

Felony punishable by up to 15 years

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used force or violence, threatened to use force or violence, assaulted, or put in fear the complainant;
  2. While in the course of committing a larceny of a motor vehicle;
  3. While the complainant was the operator, passenger, person in lawful possession, or person attempting to recover possession of the motor vehicle.

Special Considerations

  • The statute allows for a sentence to be imposed to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed for a conviction that arises out of the same transaction. This includes Armed Robbery which is sometimes charged alongside Carjacking.

Penalty 

Felony punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of years; a sentence imposed for this offense may be imposed to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed for a conviction that arises out of the same transaction.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused either;
    1. attempted to break into, damage, or destroy a type of money depository, whether or not successful; or
    2. put another person in fear or confined or injured another person, or attempted to do so, for the purpose of stealing from a money depository; or 
    3. compelled or attempted to compel another person to disclose or surrender the means of opening a money depository by use of intimidation; and
  2. Intended to commit larceny or another felony; it is not necessary that the larceny or other felony be completed.

Special Considerations

  • The prosecutor is not required to prove that any person was present in the building in which the safe was located. People v Sawicki
  • In earlier years, safe breaking commonly involved the use of explosives. Often people were killed or injured during the explosion, which led to the life imprisonment penalty. In modern times, explosives are rarely used to blow up a bank vault or safe. However, the statute does not distinguish between simply damaging a safe, as is usually the case, and blowing it up.
  • Returning the items taken or making a full restitution payment up front goes a long way in resolving these cases.

Penalty 

Felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years.

What will we do as your Defense Attorney?

These are very serious charges that require an aggressive defense in which all of the facts of the case are thoroughly reviewed. We listen carefully to what our clients tell us in order to both put together a strong defense and mitigate sentencing. We do this in several ways.

First, we never take for granted that the police report is an accurate representation of the incident in question. These reports are usually very biased towards convicting the accused, and are therefore often filled with inconsistencies. We use our client’s testimony, research, private investigators, and crime scene visits to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, and ultimately, prove your innocence or argue that the facts are so that a lenient sentence is appropriate. We always visit the scene of the crime. It’s the only way to learn details showing that the police investigation was flawed or that the prosecution’s eyewitness could not have seen what he or she claims.

When building a defense for robbery, we first look for a strong alibi proving that the accused was elsewhere during the time of the crime. If no one can vouch for the whereabouts of the accused, then often the strongest defense in a robbery is misidentification. Robberies happen quickly, and often times, most of the victim’s attention is focused on the weapon and not on the person holding the weapon. In addition, many robbers wear masks, hoods, or disguises during the course of the robbery.  By raising identity issues at trial, the jury will get instructed on identification which takes into account “how good a chance the witness had to see the offender at the time, how long the witness was watching, whether the witness had seen or known the offender before, how far away the witness was, whether the area was well-lighted, and the witness’s state of mind at that time.” On top of these two defenses, if the accused took the property because he or she honestly believed that it was his or her property or that he or she had a legal right to it, then we can raise what’s called “claim of right” defense.

If the accused is between the ages of 17 and 24 they may be eligible to qualify for a sentence under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). This Act allows the client to plead guilty, but have the offense dismissed by the court if he or she satisfies the terms set by the court. HYTA does not apply to any felony where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment (such as armed robbery or carjacking). With that said, we always try to plea down to a non–life offense such as simple robbery, so that HYTA is available. 

Convincing the prosecutor to reduce the charge to attempted robbery should always be on the table. This would reduce a life offense down to a 5-year offense. Mitigating factors that we look out for are things like the state of mind of the accused and whether they were acting in a desperate manner due to drugs or alcohol. Also important is the value of the stolen object and whether it has been returned. In other words the punishment must fit the crime or we will not stand for it. 

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Email: kerrylawpllc@gmail.com

Tel: (734) 263-1193

Address: 214 S. Main St. Ste 200
                 Ann Arbor MI, 48104
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