Under Oklahoma law, robbery is more than a simple act of theft. It is a violent crime perpetrated through fear, force, or the threat of force. Because of the intimidation and threat of violence, and because of the potential for injury to the victim, robbery is prosecuted vigorously. Conviction is subject to lengthy prison sentences and minimum sentencing requirements. First degree robbery, for example, is punishable by a minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum of life—even as a first offense.
Because the penalties of a robbery conviction are so severe, it is imperative that anyone charged with a robbery offense immediately retain legal counsel and defense representation. Whether your criminal charge is the result of an imprudent act or a case of mistaken identity, the attorneys with the Oklahoma City law firm of Phillips & Associates are prepared to launch a forceful defense. Our history of success in violent crimes defense includes numerous dismissals and acquittals of Oklahoma robbery charges. Contact us today to see how our skillful and experienced defense lawyers can help your case.
Oklahoma Robbery Laws
The state statutes define the act of robbery and outline its penalties in Sections 791 through 801 of the Oklahoma Criminal Code. According to the statutes, "Robbery is a wrongful taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear." This legal definition provides the criteria necessary for a robbery conviction:
- Taking of personal property
- from a person or in his or her presence
- against the will of the victim
- through force or fear.
The law states that the force or threat of force must be utilized in order to take the property of another or to overcome resistance to the crime. If the force or threat is used only in an attempt to flee, then the preceding act of theft does not constitute robbery.
However, Oklahoma robbery statutes stipulate that the degree of force used in perpetrating a robbery is immaterial. Likewise, the value of property wrongfully taken is immaterial. If the perpetrator of the crime uses any degree of force or causes the victim to fear for the safety of himself or herself, family members, or anyone in his or her company at the time of the robbery, he may be found guilty of first degree robbery or second degree robbery, depending on the specific circumstances of the offense.
Robbery Crimes and Penalties of Robbery Conviction
There are several types of robbery with which a person may be charged. The actual charge a suspect receives is dependent on certain factors including injury to the victim or the use of a firearm.
- Robbery in the First Degree – occurs when, in the course of a theft, a perpetrator (1) causes serious bodily injury, (2) threatens a person with immediate serious bodily injury, (3) intentionally puts the victim in fear of serious bodily injury, or (4) commits or threatens to commit a felony upon the victim. First degree robbery is a felony punishable by 10 years to life in prison. It is an "85% Crime," meaning that anyone convicted of first degree robbery must serve at least eighty five percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
- Robbery in the Second Degree – Any act of robbery which meets the definition in §791 but does not meet the definition of first degree robbery is considered Robbery in the Second Degree. Second degree robbery is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
- Robbery Committed by Two or More Persons – If two or more individuals work together to perpetrate a robbery, upon conviction, each is subject to a sentence of between 5 and 50 years in prison.
- Robbery or Attempted Robbery with Dangerous Weapon or Imitation Firearm – Commonly known as Armed Robbery, this is considered the most serious robbery offense. It is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison, and the court is unable to provide a lesser sentence, suspended sentence, probation, parole, or early release for good conduct unless at least 10 years have been served. A person may be convicted of armed robbery, robbery with a dangerous weapon, or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon even if the weapon used in the commission of the crime is not loaded, loaded with blanks, or a replica weapon. As long as the weapon is intended to provoke fear and to make the victim assume it is a real gun or weapon, armed robbery charges are warranted.
If you have been implicated in a robbery, your liberties and your freedom are at stake. If you are convicted as a violent offender, you will not only be subject to the possibility of life in prison, but you will be unable to expunge a violent crime conviction, you will lose your right to possess firearms, you will suffer the loss of voting rights, and other collateral consequences of felony conviction.
Robbery Defense in Oklahoma
At Phillips & Associates, our defense attorneys are seasoned professional litigators with the resources, finesse, and knowledge to successfully handle your case. Through careful investigation, skillful courtroom tactics, and expert understanding of the finer points of law, we can build a defense that provides the optimal outcome to your case.
Whether aggressively pursuing a dismissal of the charges or zealously defending your innocence at trial, we are committed to providing superior legal counsel and defense representation in the state and federal courts in Oklahoma.
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