New Hampshire Robbery Laws
According to 2009 census data New Hampshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Crime rates are made up of two types of offenses that are reported annually to the FBI. This includes violent crime and property crime. Violent crime is made up of instances of murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery. Robbery and aggravated assault are the most commonly reported violent crimes.
A robbery is a theft crime that involves violence or the threat of violence. New Hampshire police take robbery crimes very seriously. The FBI's uniform crime reporting program states that between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,835 reports of robberies in New Hampshire. Of these, 22% involved the use of firearms. While these numbers are low, police are always looking to catch anyone accused of a violent crime.
In New Hampshire, robbery is a crime under RSA 636:1. For a crime to be considered a robbery, two factors must be proven:
- The defendant commits a theft crime
- During the course of that crime one of the following also occurs:
- The defendant uses physical force on another person
- The defendant threatens another person or intentionally causes them fear
Robbery Charges in New Hampshire
In order to make sure that there is no confusion when it comes to a theft involving violence, lawmakers added an additional clause. New Hampshire robbery law states that violence committed or threatened during “the course of committing a theft” is grounds for a criminal charge. The course of committing a theft is a general term used to describe any type of action related to the theft. The law specifically states that it does not apply only to the actual taking of an item. In fact, any of the following is considered part of the course of committing a the crime:
- The efforts to keep the stolen property immediately after taking it
- The escape immediately after taking an item
- Attempting to commit a theft
Under this part of the law, a theft that is not successful can still be considered a robbery. Simply threatening physical violence and requesting another person hand over an item is considered robbery even if the other person does not comply. Also, if a theft occurs without incident but involves violence during the getaway, this can be considered a robbery.
New Hampshire Robbery Penalties
In New Hampshire a robbery is considered a felony. Depending on the situation, it can be charged as either a Class B or a Class A felony. A class A felony will result if any of the following are proven:
- The defendant was armed with a deadly weapon
- The defendant presented themselves so that the victim could have reasonably believed that they were armed with a deadly weapon
- The defendant inflicted or intended to inflict serious injury or death on another person
Though Class A felony charges are the most severe, all other circumstances of robbery charges are still class B felonies.
Under RSA 651:2, a person convicted of a Class A felony can be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years of incarceration. If that person is convicted of a felony with a deadly weapon and the deadly weapon was a firearm, they can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years of incarceration with a minimum of three years. A person convicted of a Class B felony can face a maximum sentence of 7 years of incarceration. In addition, any person convicted of a felony in New Hampshire is also subject to a maximum fine of $4,000, probation and/or conditional or unconditional discharge. If the defendant had any prior criminal convictions on their record, they will be subject to additional years of incarceration.
Call a New Hampshire Robbery Defense Lawyer
Robbery is not only a theft crime, it is a violent crime. Police in New Hampshire take violent crimes very seriously and so do courts. The penalties for a robbery conviction are extremely severe even for a first time offender. If a gun was involved in any way, you could be sentenced to 20 years in jail!
If you have been charged with robbery in Exeter, Manchester or anywhere in New Hampshire, it is important that you understand your rights. Call our office now and speak to attorney Ryan Russman. Attorney Russman is dedicated to helping his clients get the results that they want. He has dedicated his legal career to helping people just like you fight their criminal charges. Call us now to get started.