If you are facing robbery charges in Colorado, it’s helpful to know the laws and penalties associated with these offenses. We’ll explain them in this post, along with letting you know what you can do to fight your charges.
Understanding Robbery Laws in Colorado
Under Colorado law, robbery is using intimidation, threats, or force to knowingly take any item of value directly from a person or within someone’s presence.
There are three types of robbery in Colorado, which are categorized by whether a weapon was used in commission of the offense and whether the item taken was a controlled substance.
Here is a breakdown of all three types of robbery:
This offense depends on fear tactics or use of force. The property must be taken from another person’s presence for this charge to apply.
Simple robbery can be raised to aggravated robbery if the offender used a deadly weapon during the act of robbery. The weapon must have been intended to wound, maim, or kill the person if resistance occurred. Aggravated robbery also applies if the offender strikes or wounds another person with the deadly weapon.
The weapon need not be discharged or used to cause injury for aggravated robbery charges to apply. Simply using the weapon to threaten or intimidate another person while knowingly putting a person in fear of bodily injury or death is enough to constitute a charge.
The deadly weapon can be an actual weapon or an article fashioned to represent a weapon so that the person being robbed reasonably believes it is a deadly weapon.
Aggravated robbery of controlled substances
This charge applies when aggravated robbery is used to take controlled substances from a person in lawful possession of the substances, such as a pharmacist or a pharmacy.
Penalties for Robbery in Denver
Robbery is a felony crime in Colorado. Here is a breakdown of the penalties for the three types of robbery mentioned above:
Simple robbery penalties
This is a class 4 felony charge. A conviction will result in two to six years in prison with three years of mandatory parole, and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.
The penalties will be raised if the victim was disabled or over 70 years old. The prison sentence will be four to 12 years with four to five years of mandatory parole, plus a fine of up to $500,000.
Aggravated robbery penalties
This is a class 3 felony charge and listed as an extraordinary risk crime. A conviction will result in four to 16 years in prison with five years mandatory parole, plus a fine of up to $750,000.
If anyone was seriously injured in the act of aggravated robbery, the prison sentence may be increased to 32 years with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.
Aggravated robbery of controlled substances penalties
This is a class 2 felony charge. A conviction will result in a prison term of 16 to 48 years with five years mandatory parole, plus a fine between $5,000 and $1,000,000.
With penalties this serious, it’s crucial to contact an experienced Colorado attorney with a track record of success in these types of cases as soon as charges are filed against you.
Defenses to Colorado Robbery Charges
A skilled Denver criminal attorney will know the best defense that can work to get your charges reduced or dropped. Here are some of the defenses that may work in your case.
- You were falsely identified as a perpetrator.
- You acted without intent to take any property.
- You reasonably believed that the property belonged to you.
- You did not use intimidation, threats, or force.
- You were not carrying or using a deadly weapon.
- You possessed a deadly weapon but had no intent to use it.
- The evidence was collected during an unlawful search and seizure.
- The police used misconduct against you.
- You were acting in execution of public duty.
- Robbery was the better choice among several evils.
- You were a victim of entrapment.
- You acted under duress.
- You were involuntarily intoxicated at the time of the incident.
- You have an impaired mental capacity.
If convicted of a felony in Colorado, you will lose your right to vote and your right to possess or use firearms. You may also struggle to get loans approved, find a good job, and secure quality housing. Your quality of life can suffer for decades if you have a felony conviction.
So, do everything in your power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Fight back with the most aggressive defense possible.
About the Author:
Since 2005, Jeffrey L. Weeden has been practicing criminal defense law in Colorado and has helped countless clients protect their rights and freedoms as a respected, caring, hard-nosed criminal defense attorney. Over the course of his career, Mr. Weeden’s work has been recognized in numerous ways, including being named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers list by The National Trial Lawyers, earning a 10.0 “Suberb” Avvo rating, receiving Martindale-Hubbard’s highest peer review rating — AV Preeminent, and being asked to speak on several issues of interest to the legal community. Additionally, he is someone who cares deeply about his community and those in need, and is an active member of a number of professional legal organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators.