A robbery charge in New Jersey can carry serious consequences. If convicted, you can go to jail, pay a hefty fine and – with a conviction on your record – you can face a major obstacle when applying for a job or pursuing educational opportunities.
However, in our justice system, you have many rights, including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, will make sure those rights are protected.
Anthony is a highly experienced lawyer who has both prosecuted robbery cases in New Jersey as well as defended clients charged with this serious offense. He will give your case the skill and attention you need and work tirelessly to pursue the best outcome possible for you.
We work with clients throughout New Jersey from our offices in Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Princeton, Jersey City, Red Bank and Woodbridge. Contact us today to set up an appointment and discuss your case.
What Is Robbery in New Jersey? NJSA 2C:15-1
As you move forward, it will be important for you to know how New Jersey law defines the offense of robbery.
Under N.J.S. 2C:15-1, you can be found guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, you:
- Inflict bodily injury or use force on the victim; or
- Threaten the victim with or purposely put the victim in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Commit or threaten immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree.
You can be deemed to be “in the course of committing a theft” if any of the above acts occur while you are in the attempt of committing a theft or in immediate flight from a theft.
Carjacking is a type of robbery. Under N.J.S. 2C:15-2, this offense occurs when, in the course of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, you:
- Inflict bodily injury or use force on an occupant or person in possession or control of a motor vehicle; or
- Threaten that person or purposely or knowingly put that person in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
- Commit or threaten immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree; or
- Operate or cause the vehicle to be operated with that person remaining in the vehicle.
As we explain below, both robbery and carjacking are treated as violent offenses which carry harsh penalties under New Jersey law.
What Are the Penalties for a New Jersey Robbery Charge?
If you are guilty of a robbery, you will be punished for committing a crime of the second degree. This carries a prison sentence between five to 10 years.
A robbery is elevated to a crime of the first degree if, during the course of committing a theft, you:
- Attempt to kill anyone; or
- Purposely inflict or attempt to inflict serious bodily injury; or
- Are armed with, use or threaten the immediate use of a deadly weapon.
If you commit robbery in the first degree, you can face a sentence between 10 to 20 years in a state prison.
Because of the serious nature of a first- or second-degree robbery, New Jersey requires you to serve 85 percent of your sentence before you can be eligible for parole.
Carjacking is a first-degree offense. If convicted, you can serve between 10 to 30 years in prison. You are ineligible for parole for the first five years of any sentence which you receive.
Additionally, if convicted, you will likely need to pay fines on top of court costs as well as restitution. You will lose many rights, including the right to vote and carry a firearm. Also, you may find it difficult to gain admission to a school, receive financial aid and get a job.
How Can You Defend Against a Robbery Charges in NJ?
Given the gravity of the above consequences, it is important to consider all potential defense options which may be available to you. These options generally arise at two stages:
It is important to look at how police and prosecutors gathered the evidence which they plan to use against you. If that evidence was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights or statutes that govern criminal procedure, it could be excluded. For example:
- An item connected to a robbery could have been obtained as the result of an illegal search and/or seizure
- A statement, including a confession, could have been obtained in violation of your Miranda rights
- An eyewitness identification could have been obtained through an improperly conducted lineup or other faulty procedure.
If evidence is excluded before a case goes to trial, the prosecutor may agree to dismiss a robbery or carjacking charge or reduce the charge to a lesser offense.
During trial, your lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s evidence through cross-examination and other strategy and technique.
Your lawyer can seek to convince the jury that the prosecution has failed to establish each element of the robbery charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, your lawyer can present evidence to support a defense such as an alibi which establishes that you were somewhere else when the robbery was allegedly committed.
It is important to work with a lawyer who will gather all evidence in your case, carefully assess it, explore all potential defenses available to you and provide you with an honest evaluation of your case.
How Can a Robbery Defense Attorney New Jersey Help You?
Attorney Anthony J. Vecchio is an experienced lawyer who is truly dedicated to providing a thoughtful, innovative and aggressive defense of his clients. He has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2012.
When you work with our law firm, you can expect Anthony and our legal team to provide exceptional service at each stage of your case, including:
- Seeking a reasonable bond to allow you to go home while your robbery or carjacking charge is pending
- Making sure the prosecution complies with its discovery obligations and collecting all evidence that bears on your case
- Filing all available pre-trial motions in an effort to exclude any unlawfully obtained evidence and, perhaps, to get the charges against you dropped or dismissed
- Working with the prosecutor to seek a reasonable plea agreement, fully consulting with you about the terms of that agreement and advising you about the pros and cons of accepting the offer or going to trial
- Presenting a vigorous defense for you in court if you choose to go to trial
- Fighting for minimum consequences if your case goes to sentencing
- Representing you in all post-trial matters, including appeals and expungement applications.
We believe that Anthony’s extensive criminal law background and his passionate dedication to standing up for his clients can make a meaningful difference for you and your family.
Charged with Robbery in New Jersey? Get Help Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with robbery or carjacking in New Jersey, you need to act fast in order to protect your rights. Make your first call to the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio. Call or reach us online. We can get to work on your case today.