Robbery is an aggravated from of theft that involves taking property by the threat of or use of force. Robbery is initially charged as a Level 5 Felony, but can quickly become even more serious based on the specific facts of the case, such as whether the defendant is armed or whether anybody is hurt during the course of the robbery.
The evidence in almost all robbery cases relies heavily on eyewitness testimony. Due to the force requirements of a robbery charge, there are always eyewitnesses, and those eyewitnesses will be prepared by the State to identify you at trial. Some attorneys may counsel a person who has been identified by an eyewitness to take a quick plea; this is the wrong approach to a robbery defense.
Eyewitness testimony is frequently unreliable when properly investigated. The eyewitnesses are often, and understandably, scared and under a great deal of stress at the time of the robbery. The police, working backwards, will often “help” the eyewitness to identify the individual that they believe to have committed the robbery, even if that person is innocent. Sometimes in cases of multiple eyewitnesses they aren’t even able to agree on the identification of the Defendant as being the robber. Proper investigation can help to reveal and preserve any inconsistent identification and any suggestive techniques used by the police in getting their eyewitness identification for use in your defense at trial.
If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a robbery, you must contact me without delay so that we can begin the important work of preserving evidence for the defense. Many times, the eyewitnesses are the only source of evidence against the accused, and failure to investigate their recollections as soon as possible will have a disastrous result on the quality of the defense available to a robbery defendant.