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What are the best ways to defend against robbery charges?

Robbery charges often stem from allegations that a person threatened the use of immediate physical force while attempting to deprive someone of their property or while committing larceny. Forcibly taking property from another person in New York can result in serious consequences. Generally in New York a conviction for third-degree robbery may result in two to seven years in jail, while a first-degree robbery conviction may result in 10 to 25 years in prison. The court may also fine you up to $5,000 or double the amount you gained from the robbery.

In order to convict you of robbery rather than larceny, a prosecutor will have to establish the additional element of force. You and your defense attorney can come up with a criminal defense strategy that proves that no force was used during the incident, which, if successful, could allow you to avoid the harshest penalties. For example, you may be able to prove that the gun you had in your possession was unloaded or not able to be discharged at the time of the alleged robbery. If the prosecution is unable to prove that you used or attempted to use force, your charge may be dropped down to larceny.

You may also be able to damage the prosecution's case to the point that you are acquitted. The prosecutor on your case will try to prove that you committed the robbery beyond a reasonable doubt. It is your job, and your defense attorney's job, to do whatever you can to poke holes in the prosecutor's case. For example, an alibi may be able to testify as to your whereabouts at the time of the crime. If they can testify that you were nowhere near the scene of the robbery, the prosecutor will have a more difficult time establishing your guilt.

Another common defense is that a criminal defendant was under duress at the time of the robbery. If someone threatened you with immediate harm to get you to commit a robbery, then you may be able to use this strategy to defend against your robbery charges.

Keep in mind that it is the prosecutor's job to prove that you are guilty, not your job to prove your innocence. However, attacking the credibility of their evidence and presenting your own evidence to support your innocence are the best ways to potentially have your charges reduced or dropped.

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