Technology has allowed society to advance in many ways, including security devices such as cameras. Still, even with all the ways technology has given us a sense of security such as being able to see who is outside our door in real-time, it doesn’t eliminate all risk.
WFMY News 2 reported that a woman’s home in Charlotte was almost broken into by armed robbers — caught on tape by her doorbell camera. WCNC Charlotte also detailed a story in which a businesses’ security cameras caught a robbery in progress, but didn’t stop the robbers from being successful in stealing thousands in equipment.
Law enforcement can now use camera technology and video recorded evidence to help them find robbery suspects. When they are caught, there are some serious consequences to be faced. Here’s what you need to know about North Carolina robbery laws and the associated penalties.
Robbery Crimes According to North Carolina
Robbery is legally defined as the unlawful taking of property from another by the use of force or threat. Essentially, you can be charged with robbery in North Carolina if you take something from someone else through the use of intimidation, force, or threat.
Three Elements of a Robbery
To be convicted in North Carolina of robbery, prosecutors must prove each element of the crime of robbery. These elements are unlawful taking, an in-person victim, and the use of fear or force. Here’s more about each of them.
This element of robbery requires that you took the property belonging to another. It’s essentially committing theft since you are taking the property of another with their consent or without any authority.
From the Person of Another
In order for a crime to be classified as a robbery, the property must be taken from the person of another. That means that property was taken directly from the body of another person or from someone in their immediate presence.
Using Fear or Force
When committing robbery, the threat of violence, fear, or intimidation must be used in the commission of a theft. This is often a subjective standard in court, but the primary question behind it is if the victim of the crime felt fearful for their safety or the safety of a loved one.
Robbery and Firearms
North Carolina has specific laws surrounding robbery committed with the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon. These charges are considered an aggravating factor in a robbery case and will result in harsher penalties if convicted.
A dangerous weapon is considered anything that can inflict serious bodily harm or result in death, regardless of whether its normal use can be classified as dangerous. Examples of dangerous weapons include box cutters, knives, bats, and tools.
Penalties for Robbery in North Carolina
In North Carolina, robbery is a felony. How a person is charged depends on a few key factors:
- Whether or not a weapon was used in the crime
- The defendant’s prior criminal history
- Any injuries sustained by the victim
The penalty for robbery is a prison sentence of up to 47 months. For armed robbery, a prison sentence of up to 204 months can be imposed.
When a defendant is deemed a habitual offender, then additional Class C felonies can be charged with a minimum mandatory sentence of up to 120 months.
As technology in home security devices continues to advance, you can count on North Carolina law enforcement and state prosecutors alike to take full advantage. If you intend to commit a robbery crime, chances are the incident is being recorded somewhere, by someone. Chances are also good the recording will surface.