Robbery – How the Charge Differs from Theft in Washington and Possible Defenses

You are facing robbery charges. You are understandably upset and worried about what that may mean to your future – both immediate and long term. Your family may be upset with you. You are upset with yourself for getting into this situation. You may feel all alone. You do not need to be and, in fact, you should not be. You need a defense attorney on your side.

Theft, in and of itself, is a serious charge. But robbery gets even more serious. It is like being charged with theft and a violent crime at the same time. Robbery has two possible degrees you could be charged with. Second degree is charged when you are accused of taking property from someone else by threatening them harm or intimidating them. This is a class B felony and has penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. That is serious enough but first degree is even more serious. First degree robbery is charged in the event of four possible situations: you were armed, or you showed a weapon, or the victim suffered bodily harm, or the robbery was done at a bank or financial institution. Of course any combination of these suspected scenarios would also lead to a first degree robbery charge. This is now classified as a class A felony which is on the same level as murder in the first degree; you could be facing life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. That is the bad news and is why you want and need a defense attorney on your side.

The good news is that there are options for defense. Perhaps you got in a scuffle with a neighbor over who properly owned some piece of property. Then the unforeseen happened and in the fight you hurt your neighbor even though originally you had no intention to do so. Considering what the fight was over you likely took the property in question. Then he called the police. You have the property, he is the one that is hurt and he is the one that made the call. Police are people just like everybody else. Even you can admit that at that point it was your neighbor who looked more sympathetic and you were the one who looked guilty. Other laws would possibly apply because he got hurt but that situation may be able to be reduced from a robbery charge to a lesser charge especially if it turns out that the disputed property was indeed yours.

Did you shoplift and push someone like a security guard out of the way as you were fleeing? It has been known to happen that this gets charged as a robbery since it is claimed that you used your fists or body as a weapon. However when surveillance tape is scrutinized it can be argued that there was no intention of harming or even trying to harm anyone – it was just a case of circumstances getting out of control. Shoplifting is indeed illegal so it is the case that once again other charges may apply but also once again the chance for reduction of charges is good. Imagine the relief when that happens.

Perhaps you have been falsely accused? This, of course, has definitely been known to happen. Imagine being a shop or home owner and getting robbed. It is a high stress situation. Usually the victim is not thinking completely clearly. Then they either saw you or a picture of you and you looked enough like the thief for them to fully believe it was you. You may not even have been aware of the robbery at all until a police car showed up at your place. This is a truly scary situation especially if you have a past record which does not make the police sympathetic to your story or even inclined to believe you. You know your innocent but you are being treated like a criminal! You definitely need a defense attorney! We will examine the case and show how the prosecution has failed to prove your guilt. This is not an exhaustive list – we will examine every possible angle to get you the best result possible.

A defense attorney will provide someone that cares about your story, will make sure it is heard, will passionately defend your rights and will make sure you get the best result possible. That is what you have when you hire from the law office of Smith & White, PLLC for your Pierce County / Tacoma defense attorney. Call Smith & White, PLLC – the first consultation is free.

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