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Cape May Robbery Defense Attorney

In 2014, the New Jersey State police reported that there were 10,498 robberies committed in New Jersey. While Cape May has a relatively low rate of robberies as compared to other areas in New Jersey burglary is still a very common charge and one that can carry severe penalties.

An Overview of Robbery Charges in Cape May

New Jersey lawmakers have codified Robbery charges in NJSA 2C:15-1. This charge is comprised of four elements and requires that the prosecution proves the following:

First, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant committed a theft or attempted to commit a theft.

Second, the prosecution will be required to prove that the defendant inflicted bodily injury or used force upon the person of another; or defendant threatens another with or purposely puts another in fear of immediate bodily injury; or defendant commits or threatens immediately to commit any crime of the Second or second degree.

Third, for a judge to enter a conviction for robbery, the prosecution must prove that this conduct occurred either at the time of the attempted theft, the theft or the immediate flight from the attempt of the actual commission of theft.

Fourth, the prosecution will be required to prove that defendant acted purposely except that the state need only prove that the infliction of bodily injury – when it is an issue – was inflicted recklessly.

Under the New Jersey Code, robbery is considered a second-degree crime, which has its own maximum sentences and fines that a judge can impose. However, in some circumstances robbery can be charged in the first-degree, which can elevate the amount of time in prison and fines a person charged with this crime may face.

In the court of a robbery if a defendant attempts to kill another person than they may be charged with robbery in the first degree.

If a defendant purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury during a robbery then they may be charged with robbery in the second degree.

Finally, if a defendant is armed, uses or threatens another with the immediate use of a deadly weapon, the prosecution may be able to proceed with a Second-degree robbery charge.

A key issue to raise when defending a robbery charge is the fact that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was “in the course of committing a theft” when force was used. This means that force must be proven by the prosecutor to have occurred either during an attempted theft, the commission of the theft itself, or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.

Do Robbery Charges Qualify for Pre-Trial Intervention in Cape May?

Pretrial Intervention, which is also known as PTI, provides defendants with an alternative to the traditional prosecution procedures. The PTI program was designed for first-time offenders who will benefit from early rehabilitative services to deter them from future criminal conduct. While any person who is charged with an indictable offense is entitled to apply to PTI, there are, however, certain admission criteria that must be met before a person may be admitted into the program.  When the prosecution is considering whether or not to let a person into the PTI program they will generally examine a defendant’s “amenability to correction, responsiveness to rehabilitation and the nature of the offense.” In addition, in formulating whether or not to recommend an application for PTI the PTI program director shall consider seventeen statutory criteria. Below are 8 of the criteria.

  1. The nature of the offense
  2. The facts of the case
  3. The motivation and age of the defendant
  4. The desire of the defendant to forego prosecution
  5. The existence of personal problems and character traits that may be related to the defendant’s crime
  6. The likelihood that the defendant’s crime is related to a condition or situation that would be conducive to change
  7. The needs and interests of the victim and society
  8. The extent to which defendant’s crime constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior

However, one of the most important elements that the PTI coordinator will consider is the nature of the crime. On August 10, 2015, Governor Christie signed into law Senate Bill No. 2559, which changed the terms of admission. Notably, under this change, there is a presumption against admitting a person into PTI if a defendant is charged with a crime or offense involving violence or the threat of violence. This can make it particularly difficult for someone who is charged with robbery, particularly burglary in the second degree eligible for PTI.

Call Our Cape May Robbery Defense Attorneys Today for Help

Dedicated and aggressive, our Cape May robbery defense attorneys offer results-oriented representation from the outset. Our Cape May criminal defense attorneys serve clients throughout Atlantic County and Cape May County in addition to Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Egg Harbor Township, Cape May Court House, Wildwood, Absecon, Mays Landing and Somers Point.  Contact our theft lawyers about your case today by calling (609) 616-4956.  We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays.

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