An NYC Robbery Lawyer Can Help You Fight Robbery and Burglary Charges

Robbery and burglary are two of the most severe charges you can face. Both crimes are felonies, and if convicted, you could face up to 25 years in prison or more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last decade. If you have been charged with robbery or burglary, an experienced attorney can navigate the New York criminal justice system for you and help you understand your options. NYC robbery Lawyer Cody Warner has helped thousands of clients in the New York metropolitan put their charges behind them, including those charged with robbery and burglary. If you have been charged with robbery or burglary, he can provide you with the help you need.

Robbery vs. Burglary in NYC: What’s the Difference?

Robbery and burglary are often confused and used interchangeably, perhaps because both crimes typically involve theft. However, they are distinct crimes with essential differences.

Burglary is trespassing or unlawfully entering onto a property with the specific intent to commit a crime. Contrary to popular misconception, you do not need to intend to steal anything or commit an act of violence against another person. You can be charged with burglary for breaking into an empty building and committing an act of vandalism or any other crime. Furthermore, you do not need to have actually committed the crime to be charged with burglary.

On the other hand, Robbery is the forcible taking of property from another person. You must either use physical force or the threat of physical force to deprive them of their property. In addition, you do not need to enter anyone else’s property to commit robbery; you can be charged with robbery for forcibly stealing from someone on the street.

Because robbery involves forcible theft, defendants charged with robbery are likely to face harsher sentences if convicted than people charged with burglary. Regardless, both are very serious crimes, and you should contact an NYC robbery lawyer as soon as possible if you have been charged with either offense.

Burglary Charges in NYC

Under New York law, there are three degrees of burglary charges, each of which is a felony. If you have been charged with burglary, an NYC burglary lawyer can help you get a fair result.

Burglary in the Third Degree

P.L. 140.20 defines Burglary in the Third Degree as knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime. Examples of Burglary in the Third Degree include the following:

  • Breaking into a warehouse with the intent to steal merchandise;
  • Breaking into an abandoned building with the intent to commit arson; or
  • Breaking into a retail store and committing vandalism.

Burglary in the Third Degree is a class D felony. You could face up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted. If you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years, you face an even more serious sentencing range.

Burglary in the Second Degree

Burglary in the Second Degree P.L. 140.25 is the same crime as Burglary in the Third Degree but with the following aggravating factors:

  1. The building is a home; or
  2. You committed the burglary and:
    1. You were armed with explosives or a deadly weapon;
    2. You caused physical injury to someone who was not involved in the burglary;
    3. Use used or threatened to use a “dangerous instrument”; or
    4. You displayed what appeared to be a firearm.

Burglary in the Second Degree is a class C felony, and you could be sentenced to prison for up to 15 years if you are convicted. Your sentence will be more severe if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years.

Burglary in the First Degree

Burglary in the First Degree is a class B felony and the most severe burglary charge you can face. Under P.L. 140.30, Burglary in the First Degree combines both aggravating factors of Burglary in the Second Degree. Burglary in the First Degree involves both breaking into someone’s home and causing physical harm or involving the use of a deadly weapon, explosives, firearms, or dangerous instrument. However, the statute does explicitly provide for an affirmative defense to Burglary in the First Degree if a firearm was used but was not loaded or otherwise capable of being shot.

Defendants convicted of Burglary in the First Degree face a prison sentence of up to 25 years, and the sentence range is higher if you have been convicted of a felony within the last decade.

Robbery Charges in New York

Robbery is defined by P.L.160.00 as forcible stealing by way of the use or threat of physical force to either overcome resistance to the theft or to compel the property owner to give over the property. Similar to burglary charges, there are three degrees of robbery under New York law, all of which are felonies. And while each degree of robbery is the same class of felony as the corresponding burglary charge, defendants charged with robbery are typically more likely to receive a worse sentence than those charged with burglary because robbery involves the use or threat of force against another person.

Robbery in the Third Degree

Robbery in the Third Degree (P.L. 160.05) is the basic crime of robbery, in other words the forcible theft of property. Robbery in the Third Degree generally does not involve using a weapon and includes crimes such as purse snatching.

A class D felony, a conviction could result in a prison sentence up to seven years in New York state prison. If you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years your sentence range will be worse.

Robbery in the Second Degree

Under P.L. 160.10, you can be charged with Robbery in the Second Degree if you commit a forcible theft with the following additional factors:

  1. You were aided by another person present at the robbery;
  2. You stole a motor vehicle (“carjacking”); or
  3. During the robbery or while leaving the scene you:
    1. Caused physical injury to another person; or
    2. Displayed what appeared to be a firearm.

Robbery in the Second Degree is a class C felony with a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years in prison and even more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last decade.

Robbery in the First Degree

Robbery in the First Degree is the most serious robbery charge. Under P.L. 160.15, you can be charged with Robbery in the First Degree if you commit a forcible threat with the following additional factors:

  1. You caused serious physical injury to another person;
  2. You were armed with a deadly weapon;
  3. You used or threatened to use a dangerous instrument; or
  4. You displayed what appeared to be a firearm.

Robbery in the First Degree is a class B felony. If convicted you face up to 25 years in prison or more if you have a felony conviction within the last 10 years.

Despite the differences in potential penalties, the difference between Robbery in the First Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree is not always easy to see. For example, you can be charged with Robbery in the First Degree if the victim suffered a “serious” physical injury, whereas Robbery in the Second Degree would be charged if the victim suffered an injury that wasn’t “serious.” Whether an injury is serious is often for the jury to decide, and an experienced lawyer will be able to develop a defense that details all facts that lead to the conclusion that the injury was minor. Accordingly, if you have been charged with Robbery in the First Degree you should speak with an experienced NYC robbery lawyer who can develop the best defense strategy for your case.

How an NYC Robbery Lawyer Can Help

An NYC robbery lawyer can do much more than appear alongside you in court. Here are some of the ways that your lawyer can help you take control of your case:

  • By thoroughly investigating your case to gather facts that help your defense
  • By researching all potential legal defenses for your case
  • By evaluating the evidence against you to identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case
  • By seeking a dismissal of your charges when they are unsupported by the evidence
  • By negotiating a plea agreement if a plea deal is in your best interest
  • By developing and executing the ideal trial strategy for your case

Contact NYC Robbery Lawyer Cody Warner Today

Facing a robbery or burglary charge can feel overwhelming. Cody can develop a strategic defense and help you start moving forward. To schedule a free consultation, call or email Cody to discuss your case.