An experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney defends persons charged with robbery. The state of Missouri recognizes varying degrees of robbery (referring to the amount of force or threat of force displayed in the act of stealing something from someone else).
Chapter 569 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 569.020, specifically states that robbery in the first degree is a Class A felony, and carries with it a term of imprisonment that can range from 10 to 30 years.
Armed robbery charges are brought if the perpetrator is suspected of committing the robbery with a non-life threatening weapon; it becomes aggravated robbery when the suspect is believed to have committed a robbery with a deadly weapon. The degree of any robbery relates to the amount of force or threat of force and can be interpreted in a variety of ways.
The prosecutor has the burden of showing:
- The accused intended to take and did take property that was not his to take;
- The property was taken in the immediate presence of the person;
- The property was taken against the person’s will; and
- Fear or force was used to take the property.
A criminal defense attorney will establish facts to counter the elements of the crime in the case against you. It’s vital to your well being and freedom to have an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible. Even if you haven’t been formally charged yet and just have questions, a criminal defense attorney can help you make the right choices.
An experienced criminal defense attorney has many defenses against charges of robbery. Some robbery charges can be reduced to a simple theft charge if it can be shown he did not use force or the threat of force against another person in the robbery, or if he can show the act was for purposes of self-defense, or duress because someone forced him to do it.
Persons committing robbery often hide behind masks or disguises making it difficult to identify them. The defense of mistaken identity or false accusation is one defense that is often used when a person has been wrongfully charged; it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made under these circumstances.
Another defense that a criminal defense attorney employs is Claim of Right – when the suspect claims he had the right to take the property as it belonged to him and was taken from him by someone else.
A robbery charge, regardless of the degree, should always be taken seriously since the consequences of a conviction are serious. The long-term loss of your freedom and a permanent criminal record can result from a robbery conviction in Missouri.
Prosecutors are often quite aggressive in their attempts to secure robbery convictions, given the violent nature of the crime. With so much on the line, it’s crucial that you seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney who will defend you to the best of his ability.
Craig Divine is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Kansas City. If you have been charged with the crime of robbery, don’t hesitate to call today for a consultation to discuss your best options for defense. 816-474-2240.