When you think of robbery, you picture a theft that includes threats or the use of violence, like a “hold-up.” The District Attorney can charge a person with Robbery in Maine when the police report includes the elements of Robbery under the Maine Statute, including the attempted or successful theft of property through fear of the use of force or the actual use of force. Upon conviction of Robbery charges in Maine, the sentencing can include fines of up to $20,000.00-$50,000.00 and jail time of up to 10-30 years depending if the charge of Robbery is a class B or A felony.
Let’s take a moment to review what happens when one is accused of Robbery in Maine.
- Defining Robbery Charges in Maine
- Classifications and Penalties for Robbery Charges in Maine
- How a Robbery Defense Lawyer can help
- Criminal Court Process for Robbery Charges in Maine
How are Robbery Charges in Maine Defined?
Robbery Charges in Maine are a specific set of theft crimes. The offender attempts to take property, or has unlawfully taken the property of another, either through threatening the use of force or the actual use of force, or by actually causing bodily injury to another person. Robbery charges in Maine do not require that the offender actually stole anything from the victim. If the offender had the “state of mind” to commit a theft, then the person can be arrested and charged with Robbery if that person used or attempted to use force and/ a dangerous weapon while committing the theft.
In some aspects, a Robbery charge in Maine considers the offender’s state of mind as an element of the crime with respect to the use of force, and in other aspects it is strict liability, as seen below:
State of mind aspects;
- Recklessly inflicting physical injury on another person
- Intentionally inflicting physical injury, or attempting to inflict bodily injury on another
- Threatening to use physical force on another with the intent to:
- Overcome the resistance to taking the property that does not belong to them
- Compelling the other person to hand over the property or to assist in the taking of the property
- Actually using physical force on another with the intent to:
- Overcome the resistance to taking the property
- Compelling the other person to hand over the property or to assist in the taking of the property
Strict liability aspects;
- Being armed with a dangerous weapon at the time of the robbery.
Examples of Robbery charges include purse snatching, carjacking, and hold-ups among many other possibilities.
Classifications and Penalties for Robbery Charges in Maine
A classification system exists to weigh the severity of robbery charges in Maine. In any instance, Robbery charges in Maine are felonies. If the robbery uses only the threat of force to commit theft, or if injuries were inflicted “recklessly,” then the Robbery charges would be a Class B felony. But, if the offender intentionally uses physical force, or intentionally attempts to cause physical harm to the victim in order to commit theft, or if the offender is armed with a dangerous weapon, then the Robbery charges would be a Class A felony. The punishments for class A & B felonies are summarized below:
Class A: This is the most severe offense in which physical force was used, bodily injury was inflicted, or the offender had a weapon (fire arm, knife). A class A is punishable by:
- Fine up to $50,000
- Jail time for up to 30 years
Class B: In Class B Robbery charges in Maine, the offender threatened to use force or “recklessly” inflicted physical injury, but did not have a weapon. it is punishable by:
- Fine up to $20,000
- Jail time for up to 10 years
As you can see, a conviction for robbery can result in jail time and fines. The details of the Maine Statute for Robbery are summarized below:
- A person is guilty of robbery if the person commits or attempts to commit theft and at the time of the person’s actions:
- The actor recklessly inflicts bodily injury on another. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime;
- The actor threatens to use force against any person present with the intent:
- To prevent or overcome resistance to the taking of the property, or to the retention of the property immediately after the taking; or
- To compel the person in control of the property to give it up or to engage in other conduct that aids in the taking or carrying away of the property.
Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime;
- The actor uses physical force on another with the intent specified in paragraph B, subparagraph (1) or (2). Violation of this paragraph is a Class A crime;
- The actor intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury on another. Violation of this paragraph is a Class A crime; or
- The actor is armed with a dangerous weapon in the course of a robbery as defined in paragraphs A through D or knows that the accomplice is so armed. Violation of this paragraph is a Class A
How can a Maine Robbery defense attorney help?
Even if you have not yet been charged formally for Robbery charges in Maine, contacting a criminal defense attorney can start the process of protecting your legal rights. If you have been questioned by police and charged with robbery, getting a criminal defense attorney will help. In fighting Robbery Charges in Maine, a seasoned criminal defense attorney will:
- Did the defendant have the right State of Mind to be charged with a Theft / Robbery? Whenever a criminal charge includes the accused’s state of mind as an element of the crime, it is always important to assure that the defendant had the correct state of mind to meet the elements of the crime. If the State cannot prove all of the elements of the crime against the accused at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, then this will be significant for the defense.
- Were there any avenues of investigation that could have been overlooked by the police? If the defendant’s version of events and the official police report differ dramatically, there is a possibility that certain evidence or witnesses were overlooked when the police conducted its initial investigation. Therefore, sometimes the assistance of a private investigator can be enlightening. A private investigator can interview witnesses a second time and interview possible new witnesses to reveal new information that could help the accused’s defense.
- Is the police’s best evidence a confession from the accused? In many criminal cases, the State’s strongest evidence is a Mirandized confession from the accused. Saying it is “Mirandized” means that the confession was made after being read your Miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during police interrogations. However, police do not obtain every confession while respecting the suspect’s constitutional rights. Therefore, your criminal defense attorney will attempt to have any statements obtained in violation of your constitutional rights suppressed from (kept out of) evidence at trial.
- Was video evidence properly preserved? Like it or not, the best evidence is video evidence of the alleged incident or police interview. In my experience, incidents of theft are often recorded on camera by some sort of surveillance footage. Also, more and more, police interviews are recorded as well. If the video evidence is not preserved, there is a risk it could be recorded over and lost. Video evidence is perhaps the best definitive evidence to either exonerate or incriminate the accused.
- A strategic strong defense strategy: One of our key services we offer is our aggressive defense approach. We will work with you to come up with a defense strategy to manage your Robbery Charges in Maine.
Criminal Court Process for Robbery Charges in Maine
Robbery Charges in Maine are classified as either a Class A or Class B felony. Robbery Charges in Maine are either handled via the District and Superior Court Process or the Unified Criminal Docket Process. We will review the Criminal Court Processes for Robbery Charges in Maine specifically in Cumberland County. The Cumberland County uses the Unified Criminal Docket Procedure.
One can be arrested for Robbery based upon the police report from a property owner who was robbed. There could be physical evidence of a robbery, such as physical signs of a struggle with the owner such as cuts, scrapes, or bruises. When the property owner is attacked in person, sometimes the robber can be identified.
Robbery Charges in Maine are classified as felonies. The accused would be brought to the County Jail and have bail set. If the accused cannot make the set bail, then the issue of bail can be addressed at the accused’s Initial Appearance at Court. Because Robbery Charges in Maine are felonies, the accused needs to be indicted by a grand jury (charged formally) before that person can be arraigned. If the accused is not indicted by the Initial Appearance, then an Arraignment date would be set after the indictment is handed down.
At the Arraignment, the Criminal Defense Attorney can expect to receive a copy of the discovery materials (police reports, etc.) the State is using as the basis for the Robbery Charges in Maine against the accused. The criminal defense attorney’s review of the discovery will help determine if the expertise of a private investigator or forensic expert may help the accused’s defense.
One of the most significant court dates towards a potential resolution of robbery charges in Maine is a Dispositional Hearing, called a Dispositional Conference at the Unified Criminal Docket in Maine. The Dispositional Hearing is chance for the District Attorney and Criminal Defense Attorney to meet to negotiate a resolution to the case without going to a trial. If the State’s case is not strong, and you chose me for your counsel, I would hammer these weaknesses to advocate for the best possible outcome for you. In many instances, Robbery Charges in Maine can be resolved at the Dispositional Conference. If no acceptable resolution is reached at the Dispositional Conference, or if the accused does not wish to accept the deal offered by the District Attorney, then the case would progress to Jury Selection and a Trial.
One overlooked but vitally important piece of a trial is selecting a jury. In Maine, 12 jurors plus 2 alternates need to be selected from a pool of residents selected for “jury duty.” The jury that ultimately hears the case is selected from a process of elimination from the court’s and the attorneys’ screening questions. In some instances, a favorable resolution to the case can be reached during the jury selection process. After a jury is chosen, a trial date is set. When you have a strong legal advocate, you have a better chance of having your side of the case understood by the jury.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Chris Nielsen
When you are facing Robbery Charges in Maine, your future is at risk. Taking swift action will help to mitigate the impact. Chris Nielsen is a results-oriented Maine criminal defense attorney who has defended the rights of his clients in the Portland area for over ten years. A conviction for Robbery Charges in Maine brings about very severe consequences and sentencing. Please contact us, the Nielsen Group to get the conversation started with your free consultation today. We will answer your questions and put your mind at ease as we work with you to determine your defense strategy.
It is well worth your time to check out:
If you would like to call us now at (207) 571-8555, we can begin to develop your case strategy.
If you are looking for more information on Robbery Charges in Maine, you may also want to check out these articles.