While the past few years have seen statistics to suggest crime has been decreasing in Colorado, the numbers from 2015 aren’t looking so hot.
In late September, the FBI released a report about the year in crime and how it compared to the previous year. Data was provided for the nation at large as well as every state, and the findings for the country at large were mixed – violent crimes are up almost 4%, but property crimes are down.
Unfortunately, the mountain region of the country stood out in particular as contributing the most to the increase in crimes. This includes our own state – Colorado has seen a significantly higher increase in crimes across the board when compared to the rest of the country.
Not only are many violent crimes up in Colorado – just like the nation as a whole – property crimes have increased, too. But how are these crimes classified? What makes something a violent crime versus a property crime? What if property and violence are involved, as they often are in a robbery?
According to the FBI’s report, robbery was up by 9.4% in Colorado, so it’s worth looking at more in-depth.
Robbery: When Violence Is Involved in a Property Crime
Robbery can be a confusing crime to categorize at first, because you may not be sure whether or not it is considered a property crime or a violent crime. We’ve even written about the difference between burglary, robbery, and theft in a previous post to help you understand it better. Bottom line? The definition of robbery puts it under the category of violent crimes.
What is that definition? Under Colorado law, robbery is the act of taking property or something of value from someone by using threats, force, or intimidation. It’s that last part that makes robbery a crime of violence.
In many theft or white collar crimes, someone is charged and penalized based on the value of the items that were taken or involved in the crime. Robbery is charged like a violent crime, but certain actions or possessions involved can increase or decrease the charges against you.
In Colorado, there are only two charges for robbery: simple and aggravated robbery. Simple robbery is basically the definition above: taking property from someone through the use of threats, force, or intimidation.
Aggravated robbery is more severe. If a deadly weapon is present at the scene of the robbery or used in the robbery, you will be charged with aggravated robbery. Deadly weapons do not just include firearms. Knives, bludgeons, or any instrument that can be argued to have the ability of producing death or a serious bodily injury is considered a deadly weapon in the state of Colorado.
What Are the Penalties for Robbery?
Simple robbery is a class 4 felony in Colorado. These felonies have penalties that include 2-6 years in prison and fines between $2,000 and $500,000.
Aggravated robbery is a class 3 felony in Colorado. Penalties for a class 3 felony include 4-12 years in jail and fines between $3,000-$750,000.
If you allegedly used the deadly weapon on the victim, you may also be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which can be a Class 4 or Class 3 felony depending on the circumstances. The presence of the deadly weapon may also result in additional charges and consequences.
We covered these additional consequences and more in a previous blog post. After being convicted of a felony, you may temporarily lose your right to vote, permanently lose your right to own a firearm, and lose access to many government benefits and programs.
Defense Strategies to Fight against Robbery Charges
The presence or use of a deadly weapon in a robbery can have a big impact on the charges against you and the penalties that you face. One defense strategy may be to mitigate the charges by focusing on that element of the case. And if you can prove that the theft was committed without the use of force, intimidation, or threats, you may be able to shrink the charges against you even more.
Other defense strategies for robbery include:
- Lack of Proof/Evidence
- False Accusation
- Insanity or Intoxication (asking for rehabilitation, not punishment)
Felony charges are serious and demand serious representation. If convicted, it can upend your entire life, forcing you to put your future on hold while you deal with the consequences. Even after you have served your time, a robbery conviction can be like a noose around your neck, preventing from moving forward with your life. Don’t let that happen to you. Contact a Colorado robbery attorney to get started on your defense today.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2016 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.