Scottsdale is a city of over 217, 385 located in Maricopa County, Arizona. Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town." Although it has a lower violent crime rate than Arizona as a whole, Scottsdale has a significant number of property crimes, with about 6,047 such incidents being reported annually. The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Scottsdale is 1 in 35. Robbery is a crime that can be categorized as both a violent crime and a property crime. If you are accused of robbery, it is important to retain representation from an experienced Scottsdale criminal defense attorney such as James Novak as soon as possible.

Arizona Robbery Statistics

In 2012, there were 7,253 robberies reported in Arizona. In these robberies, $9,461,263 worth of property was stolen. A large number of these — 2,723 robberies — happened on streets, in alleys, or on the sidewalk. In contrast, only 3% of robberies occurred at a bank. Firearms were used in a large number of these robberies, representing 42.3% of them. Those accused of armed robbery should be aware that the penalties following a conviction for this offense are very serious.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is frequently associated with burglary, but the two crimes are distinct. Under Arizona Revised Statutes section 1902, someone commits robbery if he or she threatens or uses force with the intent to coerce another person to release property or prevent resistance in the course of taking property from the other person. It is a class 4 felony.

"Force" in the context of robbery means a physical act towards somebody else in order to secure control of that person's property. "Threat" in this context means either a verbal or a physical menace of imminent physical injury. While burglary in Arizona may be committed without threats or violence, robbery always includes threatening conduct.

Armed robbery is considered a "dangerous" offense. It does not necessarily refer exclusively to situations in which a loaded firearm was used. It can also apply to situations in which a beer bottle or a skateboard was used to cause serious injury to the person being robbed.

Potential Sentence for Robbery in Arizona

If you are accused of robbery in Arizona and you do not have a criminal record, the penalty upon conviction is 1 to 3.75 years in prison and $750-$150,000 in fines. The presumptive term is 2.5 years, but a judge may increase or reduce the penalty within a range based on whether there are mitigating or aggravating circumstances. The sentence is harsher for those with prior offenses. For example, someone who is facing charges for his or her third offense faces 6 to 15 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. It is rare that someone convicted of robbery with an extensive criminal record will be eligible for probation.

Because it is a "dangerous" offense, armed robbery is punished more severely. The range of sentencing for a first offender is 4 to 8 years in prison with a presumptive term of 6 years. However, with two or more prior offenses that are considered dangerous, a convicted defendant may face 12 to 16 years in prison.

Fighting to Protect Your Rights

If you or someone you love is charged with robbery or another crime, knowledgeable Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer James Novak can investigate the police's handling of your case, challenge the case against you in relation to any constitutional violations, and work to build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. Contact us today at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form to set up your free consultation.