Robbery is a form of theft. More specifically, it is directly taking property from someone by force. Although robbery is considered a "violent crime,” the act of force does not need to be directly violent. Purse snatching, for example, is technically a form of robbery.
Robbery accusations can be devastating. In Tennessee, robbery is a Class C felony. A conviction could result in up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Not only can they rob you of your freedom, but they also stain your record. This harms your ability to get work and even housing, and it can rob you of your civil rights. Felons often lose their right to own a gun, and they can even have their right to vote suspended.
Here are some defense strategies you can discuss with your attorney.
You Did Not Commit the Crime
The best way out of any criminal allegation is to simply prove that the police have “the wrong man.”
Your attorney should investigate every piece of evidence the prosecution has against you. It is their job to look for inconsistencies in the state’s case.
Physical evidence, for example, may not have your fingerprints on them. It also may have damage to it that does not match your accuser’s story.
Camera footage is considered strong evidence, but even that is not always reliable. Security cameras, for instance, are often at odd angles and produce grainy, low-resolution images.
Witness statements can be easy to debunk as well, depending on the circumstances.
You Were Mentally Unsound at the Time
Mental health episodes can lead to delusional thinking and erratic behavior. If you have a history of mental health problems, they may be relevant to your case. Even if you don’t have such a history, your attorney could request an evaluation that proves you were mentally unsound at the time of the crime.
In some scenarios, this defense applies to being either drunk or high, too. The court will probably not look favorably on this plea, but it could lower the charge and order you to attend rehab.
You Were Forced to Do It
Robbers sometimes come in pairs or groups. In these situations, one person can force the other to help them. Someone who, under threat of violence against them or their family, commits a crime is operating under “duress.” This is a valid legal claim, and it could help keep you out of trouble.
Improper Police Procedure
If the police do not properly follow the rules, charges against the defendant can be thrown out. This is true whether the alleged criminal is guilty or not.
Make sure you tell your attorney every detail of your interactions with the police or any other authority figure. They should evaluate every aspect of these moments. If they see evidence of improper police procedure, they can use it to help keep you free.
Examples of improper procedures include:
- Forced confessions
- Ignoring Miranda rights
- Police going outside the bounds of a search warrant
Patton & Pittman Attorneys can help defend you against robbery allegations. If you need a criminal defense, contact our office today for a free consultation. You can reach us online or call us at (931) 361-4477.