Criminal charges of armed robbery are serious and can drastically change a person’s life. A conviction for armed robbery means having a felony on your criminal record and can result in severe penalties including hefty fines and a lengthy prison sentence. A felony conviction can make it more difficult to find employment and can result in disqualification from many government housing options.
Robbery is a property crime that occurs when a person takes something from someone else and inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury. Armed robbery is not a distinct crime rather, the use of a weapon is an aggravating factor that results in enhanced penalties for a robbery conviction.
There are defenses available to someone who was charged with armed robbery in North Dakota, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help.
A person is guilty of armed robbery in North Dakota if, in the course of committing a theft, the person inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury or threatens someone with imminent bodily injury.
Armed robbery is not a crime unto itself. Instead, a defendant is charged with robbery and the use or possession of a weapon is an aggravating factor that leads to the charge of armed robbery. Simple robbery does not involve a weapon.
Robbery is a class A felony if the actor fires a firearm, or explodes or hurls a destructive device, or directs the force of any other dangerous weapon against another person.
Robbery is a class B felony if the robber possesses or pretends to possess a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon, or menaces another with serious bodily injury, or inflicts bodily injury upon another, or is aided by an accomplice who is actually present.
Robbery without the use or possession of a weapon is a class C felony.
To convict someone of armed robbery the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant took personal property from someone else without that person’s consent. The theft will be charged as a robbery if the defendant used or pretended to use a dangerous weapon to inflict bodily injury.
Armed robbery is a class A felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. When charged as a class B felony, robbery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. When charged as a class C felony, robbery is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
A felony is any crime punishable by more than one year in prison. Armed robbery in North Dakota is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and is a felony.
In North Dakota, the prosecutor must bring charges of robbery within three years after the crime was committed.
Defenses to a charge of robbery will, of course, depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. As in any criminal case, the prosecution must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant does not need to prove anything and can challenge evidence presented by the prosecution.
Innocence is always a defense. For example, if you can show that you were not in the state on the date the alleged robbery occurred, you can claim you were innocent of the charge of armed robbery. A defendant can also present a defense of innocence by challenging eyewitness accounts or security video footage that the prosecution claims show the defendant committed the robbery.
Duress is a defense to a charge of armed robbery if the defendant can show that someone forced them to commit robbery by threatening them or their family with imminent bodily harm. To claim duress the threat of bodily harm must be imminent.
A defendant can offer evidence of intoxication which can allow a defense lawyer to argue for a less severe penalty after someone is convicted of armed robbery. If the intoxication was beyond the defendant’s control (i.e. they were intoxicated against their will), intoxication can be a defense to a charge of armed robbery.
Charges of armed robbery are serious. If you have been charged with armed robbery in North Dakota, you need a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. An attorney can review your case to determine what defenses are available, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and work to secure a Not Guilty verdict. At Fremstad Law, our criminal defense lawyers vigorously defend every client we represent, challenging the prosecution’s evidence and forcing them to prove each and every element of their case.
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