A.R.S. §13-1902What is the Definition?
A person commits the crime of Robbery where the threat of force or use of force is used to obtain property or service(s) from a person’s immediate possession.1 If an accomplice2 helps the suspect at the scene, then the crime is called Aggravated Robbery. If either the suspect or the accomplice is armed with a deadly weapon or threatens to use a deadly weapon, then the crime is called Armed Robbery. Force is defined in 13-1901(1) as “any physical act” that is used to gain control of the property.What Elements of the Crime Must Be Proven?
In order to find you guilty, the prosecutor must prove each of the four (4) elements of the crime:
- You took the property of another;
- From their person or in their immediate presence;
- Without their permission;
- By the use of or threatened use of force.
If you are charged with Aggravated Robbery, an additional fifth element must be proven:
- An accomplice is present at the scene who helps you.
Similarly, if you are charged with Armed Robbery, an additional fifth element must be proven:
- You or your accomplice was armed with a deadly weapon or threatened to use a deadly weapon. Such deadly weapon may include a gun, knife, or other dangerous instrument.
I have a personal example of a robbery, as I was a victim of one. When I lived in San Francisco for my first job out of law school, I was on the bus standing with my cell phone when some stranger grabbed my cell phone from my hands and ran off the bus during a stop. I remember feeling visibly shaken as it was literally taken in my presence. The bus did stop, a police report was taken, but the suspect was never apprehended.What Are the Defenses?
- You did not take the property from another person’s immediate presence;
- You had permission to take the property;
- You did not use or threaten force to take the property;
- Law enforcement arrested wrong person.
The penalties for Robbery fall right in between of the wide range of penalties for theft as it is classified as a Class 4 Felony, punishable up to 3.75 years in prison. Felonies in Arizona can range between a Class 1, which is the most serious, to a Class 6, which is the least serious; therefore, Robbery falls right in the middle. One exception to this rule is if the crime is charged as an Armed Robbery, in which case you will be charged with a Class 2 Felony.What are the Immigration Consequences?
Although your criminal defense attorney may win you a good plea in Maricopa Superior Court, this same plea will harm you in Immigration Court. If you are a visa holder or undocumented immigrant who is trying to obtain your green card, then a plea to Robbery will make you inadmissible, as it is a Class 4 Felony. This means, you will be summoned to Immigration Court, charged with a ground of inadmissibility, and deported from the United States. Similarly, if you are a green card holder, a guilty plea to Robbery can make you subject to deportation if you have been convicted of any other CIMT since receiving your green card. By hiring a Lavy Law Phoenix Theft Attorney, you can feel rest assured that you will receive an immigration safe plea.
1  A.R. S. §13-1902
2  An accomplice is defined by A.R.S. §§13-301 and 13-303(A)(3) as a person, who, with the intent to promote or facilitate the offense does any of the following: (1) solicits or commands another to commit offense, or (2) aids, counsels, agrees to aid, or attempts to aid another person in planning or committing offense, or (3) provides means or opportunity for another to commit the offense.