Earlier this month, a North Carolina woman was shot to death in a Charlotte apartment complex during a robbery.
Since the incident happened, three men have been arrested in connection to the murder. All three were charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon, among other offenses.
In our state, robbery with a dangerous weapon is a separate charge from robbery, and has separate penalties – but it’s not the only “different” robbery charge here. There are actually four different types of robbery charges in North Carolina, all listed in Article 17 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
These charges are separate from theft, burglary, and other types of property crimes, and have different penalties. If you are arrested for robbery, this is important to know so that you can understand the specific charges you’re up against and can start building your defense.
Common-Law Robbery in North Carolina
The most common robbery charge is common-law robbery. In many ways, it’s similar to theft. Both actions involve taking someone else’s property.
However, if the person holding or owning the property is present during the theft, the charge is elevated to robbery. Typically, this type of theft offense involves violence, coercion, or force. It does not, however, involved a deadly weapon
This type of robbery is a class G felony in North Carolina. If you are convicted of a class G felony, you could face between 8-31 months in prison. Class G felony convictions also add four points to your criminal record.
Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon
The men arrested in Charlotte face much more serious charges than a class G felony because a firearm was used. If convicted, this is something that can add years to their sentences.
Robbery with a dangerous weapon is defined by North Carolina as the act of robbery committed while someone uses or threatens to use firearms or other dangerous weapons. Even if someone simply threatens to shoot a robbery victim, they could face elevated charges. Anyone who is accused of aiding or abetting someone in robbery with a dangerous weapon could also face charges.
Robbery with a dangerous weapon is a class D felony in North Carolina. If you are convicted of a class D felony, you could face between 38-160 months in prison. Class D felony convictions add six points to your criminal record.
Safecracking laws are included with other robbery charges in Article 17.
“Safecracking” is the act of unlawfully opening or attempting to open a safe with a variety of tools or unlawful methods in order to ascertain the items inside. Using a stolen combination or a listening device to open the safe is also included in safecracking laws. Even if the safe is stolen from its location unopened, you can still be charged with safecracking.
Safecracking is a class I felony in North Carolina. Class I felony convictions can lead to 3-12 months in prison and add two points onto your criminal record.
Yes, that’s right – North Carolina has specific laws on the books for robbing a train.
If someone draws a firearm or dangerous weapon on someone in a train to get them to forfeit their property, they will be charged with train robbery. This type of charge is a class D felony in North Carolina just like robbery with a dangerous weapon.
If You Are Charged with Robbery, Reach Out to a North Carolina Criminal Lawyer
While robbery penalties start at three months in prison and go up to 38 months, depending on the charge, it is important to note that all robbery charges are felonies. This does not mean that you will automatically be sentenced to prison if you are convicted of a felony, but all felony convictions in North Carolina do come with other penalties, including losing voting rights and other privileges. Moreover, if you have been convicted of felonies in previous incidents, you may face additional sentencing due to “points” on your record given after a conviction.
The best way to avoid a prison sentence is not to be convicted. That means fighting for your rights and freedoms with the strongest possible defense. For example, in order for a crime to be considered robbery, another person has to be present, and theft has to be attempted or committed.
If you are arrested for robbery, you should reach out to a North Carolina robbery lawyer immediately. During your free initial consultation, we’ll discuss your charges, defense options, and potential next steps moving forward.