Congdon Law. PLLC.

How Is Robbery Defined Under Minnesota State Law?


Under Minnesota law simple robbery is defined as taking property from a person or from around their immediate person, but not necessarily using a weapon. However, an aggravated robbery is when a weapon is used or the victim is led to believe the perpetrator had a dangerous weapon even if he or she didn’t actually have one.

How Is A Robbery Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?

All robberies are felony charges in Minnesota. Aggravated robbery is broken down into two levels: first-degree or second-degree charges. First degree robbery is more serious as this involves the use of a dangerous weapon or the victim was led to believe that there was a dangerous weapon involved. Second-degree robbery is when there is an implied use of a dangerous weapon, but the accused didn’t have one.

Is There A Difference Between Theft And Robbery In Minnesota?

There is a difference between theft and robbery in Minnesota. Robbery requires property taken from a person whereas theft is stealing but not necessarily off of someone. The term “person” means from the victim’s body or the immediate area surrounding their body. For example, if I go into a store and steal something off the shelf or let’s say someone leaves their wallet sitting in the cart but they’ve walked away from it, if I were to take the item, that is considered a theft; it’s not from the body of the person who owns it. Whereas in that same scenario, if I’m in a store and I take the wallet out of someone’s pocket, that’s a robbery because that’s taking it from their body instead of from a different area.

Can Someone Be Charged If They Are Found To Be In Possession Of Implements Of Robbery?

Although we don’t have an implements of robbery statute in Minnesota, we have a theft or burglary tool statute. Therefore, if you’re in possession of something that can be used to defeat a sensor on an item or the magnetic sensors in a store that could be considered theft tools. In that case, it is a felony charge to be in possession of those items if it is alleged the perpetrator was going to use them to commit a theft. However, there aren’t charges in Minnesota for implements of robbery in the sense that just because you have a firearm, it is not presumed you were going to commit a crime. If once did commit a robbery with that weapon though, it would be considered a higher level offense of aggravated first degree, rather than simple robbery.

What Factors Can Enhance Or Aggravate A Robbery Charge?

The main factors the robbery statute considers for an enhanced robbery charge is whether force was used or threatened against a person. Use or threat of force can consist of displaying or using a dangerous weapon or using an item that was fashioned into a dangerous weapon, which means it could be a home-made item. Those are all factors that are going to make a robbery more serious. For sentencing, even if it’s not a specific consideration within the statute or for the level of robbery

if the victim is injured or the property was incredibly valuable, a judge could render a harsher sentence just based on the characteristics of the offense. In those cases, your attorney must make a strong sentencing argument to try to minimize or explain the actual circumstances rather than leaving it up to a prosecutor to explain why this is such a heinous charge and a harsher sentence is warranted.

How Does The Intent Of The Alleged Perpetrator Impact A Robbery Charge?

Intent is always a factor in a robbery charge because it is considered an intentional crime. This means that you don’t commit robbery by accident. In other words, it is not an action that you take that you don’t realize you’re taking. For robbery, the intent is very important. Prosecutors try to prove intent by what’s called “circumstantial evidence”, which means looking at the actions that surround the event. For example, let’s say someone is in a store and takes a wallet out of someone’s pocket. The prosecutor will argue that your hand doesn’t end up in someone’s back pocket by accident and even if it did, you wouldn’t continue to try to possess an item.

For more information on Robbery Charges In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 684-9740 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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