Mugging Lawyers

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 What is Mugging?

Mugging is a criminal offense which involves a threatened or actual physical attack with the intent to rob an individual. Mugging is also known as robbery.

It is normally a street crime that is carried out by petty thieves.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is a form of felony theft. It is defined as the taking of property from another individual by the use of:

  • Force;
  • Intimidation; or
  • The threat of force.

Because of this, robbery is sometimes referred to as larceny by threat of force. In some states, the use or threat of force does not have to be directed at the intended victim or victims.

The threat, however, must be immediate and the crime must have been committed in the presence of the victim. If a robbery is committed with the use of a firearm or another type of deadly weapon, it may be considered armed robbery.

A conviction of armed robbery will result in harsher penalties for a defendant. Although the laws may vary slightly in each state regarding the exact definition of what conduct constitutes a robbery, the general elements of robbery typically include:

  • The taking and carrying away;
  • Of the personal property of another;
  • From their possession or in their presence;
  • Against their will;
  • By:
    • force;
    • fear;
    • violence;
    • intimidation; or
    • threat of force.

It is important to note that, although the terms burglary and robbery are often used interchangeably, they are not the same criminal offense. Burglary is the breaking and entering into a dwelling place or other building with the intent to commit a felony therein.

One of the main differences between the two is that a burglary includes breaking and entering and does not require the use of force.

What is a Holdup Robbery?

A holdup robbery is a certain type of robbery that is committed with the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. In some cases, it may also be referred to as a stick up.

The term stick up originated with the common command used by a robber to their victim to stick or hold up their hands in the air so they will not be able to defend themselves. The weapons that are commonly used include knives and guns.

Holdup robberies may occur under many different circumstances. This type of crime, however, is most commonly associated with victims such as:

  • Pedestrians. Because they are walking down a street, they may be easy targets, especially in areas where there are not many other people around;
  • Passengers in a vehicle or public transportation;
  • Individuals who are likely to have case on hand to rob, including:
    • retail store clerks;
    • bankers; and
    • cashiers;
  • Bankers;
  • Cashiers; and
  • Cargo transport workers as they often possess valuable items that a robber will target.

The criminal offense of robbery may also be defined as a theft in addition to the use of force or an assault. In many cases, when a holdup robbery is committed the force used will involve the threat of harm from a weapon such as a gun or a knife.

In certain cases, the robber only has to pretend that they possess a weapon in order to commit this offense. Because of this issue, the laws governing holdup robbers are commonly grouped in with the laws which govern armed robbery.

Armed robbery is a robbery charge which will result in more serious punishments if the defendant is convicted. Holdup robberies may include crimes which range from less serious to more serious.

These can include minor muggings to more serious crimes, such as bank robbery.

What if the Weapon was not Real?

In numerous jurisdictions, the laws are written to include the possibility that the weapon which is used in a holdup robbery was not real. Most of these laws treat the use of a fake weapon for robbery just as the use of a real weapon in a holdup robbery, or armed robbery, would be treated.

If a victim is injured or killed, this will, of course, make a difference in the criminal sentence that the defendant will receive. Even if injury or death does not occur to the victim, however, the criminal offense of armed robbery is still committed.

If a victim believes that a robber does possess a gun, then they will respond according to the belief that they may be injured or killed if they do not comply with the demands of the robber. The victim will also be traumatized and the robber will still accomplish their goal of using intimidation and the victim’s fear to complete their crime.

Even if the threat was not genuine but the end result is the armed robbery being successful, then it will be treated as if it was an armed robbery. A robber may pretend that they have a gun by pressing some item into the victim’s back and pretending that the item is a gun.

In certain cases, a robber may modify a toy or some other object to resemble a real weapon.

What are Normal Sentences for Mugging?

It may be difficult to determine the length of a sentence for a criminal offense such as mugging because it is a crime which involves other offenses, such as assault and robbery. A mugger is often charged with armed robbery if they used a weapon.

If the perpetrator used a deadly weapon, they can be charged with aggravated robbery. If the incident occurred at or near a public road, the perpetrator may be charged with highway robbery.

These are all examples of felony charges which carry substantial prison time if the perpetrator is convicted. The possible consequences for a mugging include:

  • Imprisonment ranging from a year to life, depending on the facts of the case;
  • Probation;
  • Fines; and
  • Other consequences of a felony conviction.

What Should I do if I am Mugged?

If an individual is mugged, they should:

  • Immediately write down a description of the mugger for identity purposes;
  • Seek medical attention if needed;
  • File a police report immediately;
  • Cancel any credit cards that were stolen;
  • Contact their bank;
  • Contact their cell phone service provider;
  • Change their locks, if their keys were stolen; and
  • Learn from the experience.

Are there Any Defenses to Mugging?

Mugging is considered a serious criminal offense. The majority of defenses to mugging involve some form of an alibi, or a claim that the perpetrator is innocent because they could not have committed the offense.

A perpetrator may also claim that the robbery was committed against their will, for example, through blackmail or other forms of duress. Another possible defense is that the victim gave consent to the taking of their property.

The defendant may also argue that the defendant was never placed into fear. It is important to note, however, that a defendant may still be held liable for a lesser-included offense, such as larceny.

Any defenses to robbery should be presented in a court of law.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you have been charged with mugging, it is important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. If you are convicted of a felony, it may alter many aspects of your life in addition to your criminal record.

Your attorney can review your case, determine what defenses may be available to you, and present those defenses on your behalf in court. In addition, your lawyer will appear with you whenever you attend a court proceeding.

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