Robbery is among the most serious theft charges in Nebraska. Unlike other states, Nebraska does not provide grades or classes for robbery offenses.
Thus, every robbery carries the potential of a lengthy jail sentence if you are convicted. At Petersen Criminal Defense Law, our robbery lawyer has over 25 years of experience investigating and defending against all types of robbery offenses.
Attorney Petersen has successfully represented countless clients facing both unarmed and armed robbery crimes.
How Does Nebraska Law Define Robbery?
Every state is free to create its own laws prohibiting criminal activity. Thus, the definition of robbery will vary slightly from state to state.
However, in Nebraska, a robbery occurs when somebody forcibly and, by use of violence or putting another person in fear, takes money or personal property of any value with the intent to steal the property.
As with any criminal offense, the prosecution must prove each element of a robbery beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of robbery are:
- You had the intent to steal;
- You used force or violence or put the alleged victim in fear of force or violence in order to steal;
- You took money or other property; and
- The property you took belonged to someone else.
While these elements may seem straightforward, over the years, courts have allowed several defenses that can prevent the prosecution from proving its case.
Defenses to Robbery Crimes
Defenses to robbery charges fall into several categories. First you can challenge the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence. This defense involves arguing that the prosecution cannot prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
For example, a jury cannot find you guilty of robbery unless the prosecution proves you intended to steal another person’s money or property.
Another robbery defense involves keeping the proceeds of an alleged robbery out of evidence through a motion to suppress. For example, if police officers violated your rights when arresting you, anything they recovered is inadmissible.
Misidentification is another very common defense in a robbery where the defendant was not previously known to the alleged victim. For example, the problems with cross-racial identification are now well known and may inject doubt into the prosecution’s case.
These are just a few of the most common defenses to robbery; there are many others. An experienced Nebraska robbery lawyer can help those facing these serious crimes determine the best possible defense for their case.
What Is 1st Degree Robbery?
Some states use the terms first-degree and second-degree to refer to different classifications of robbery. However, under Nebraska law, all robbery offenses are Class II felonies.
There is no such thing as a first or second-degree robbery in Nebraska because the state doesn’t classify robbery crimes this way. Thus, an armed robbery sentence for a first offense carries the same potential exposure as a robbery that didn’t involve a weapon.
This isn’t to say that all robberies will result in similar sentences. Judges have discretion and make the final decision when it comes to sentencing. Therefore, they will consider the seriousness of the offense when coming up with an appropriate sentence.
Punishments for a Nebraska Robbery Conviction
A Nebraska robbery conviction is a Class II felony, punishable by a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of 50 years. The practical importance of this is that judges have broad discretion in fashioning a sentence in the event of a conviction.
For example, an armed robbery and a strong-arm robbery are both classified as Class II felonies, although most people would agree that the former is much more serious.
Rather than carve out different offenses for each of these crimes, the Nebraska Legislature puts the decision in the hands of the judge to determine the appropriate sentence.
Thus, if a conviction is unavoidable, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side to advocate for the least severe punishment possible.
This may include presenting mitigating evidence, including the positive things you’ve been doing with your life, evidence that you suffered from substance abuse disorder, or that you are employed and supporting a family.
Consult with an Experienced Nebraska Defense Attorney to Start Working on your Defense
If you are facing a Nebraska robbery case, one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your case is which robbery lawyer you select to defend you.
At Petersen Criminal Defense Law, our Nebraska criminal defense attorney has more than two decades of hands-on experience aggressively defending the rights of his clients.
We have handled more than 6,000 criminal trials, many of which resulted in acquittals and withdrawn charges.
Regardless of the charges you face, the evidence against you, or your prior record, Attorney Tom Petersen is prepared to provide you with the best possible defense.
To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a robbery lawyer today, call 402-512-5957. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.