Robbery Charges

A much more serious criminal charge than simple theft or larceny, robbery is considered a violent property crime in Weddington. For this reason, it is considered a very serious charge under both state and federal laws. The crime of robbery involves the physical, illegal taking -- or attempted taking -- of another person’s property through the threat of force or the actual use of force.

Simple Robbery Explained

At least one victim must be physically present in order for the threat of force or the use of force to exist in a robbery. Unlike the crimes of larceny, theft, or burglary, a robbery requires the victim be physically present at the time of the crime. In a robbery, the personal property is property that is on the victim’s person during the crime. In other words, it does not encompass real property like a building or a piece of land. Furthermore, a robbery does not require that the victim be the lawful owner of the property that is stolen. It is enough that the victim legally possessed the property on his or her person. A robbery may occur between one or more persons or in a residence, a place of business, or another institution, as long as there is at least one other person present at the time of the crime.

Under North Carolina law, the crime of robbery that occurs without the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon is classified as a Class G felony. If there are no innocent parties or victims present at the time the crime occurred, it is classified as a burglary instead of a robbery as long as there was an intent to steal or commit a felony.

Armed Robbery Explained

Armed robbery occurs when the commission of a robbery includes a firearm or other dangerous weapon on the aggressor’s person. A much more serious crime than a simple robbery under North Carolina law, an armed robbery is categorized as a Class D felony. When a person does not commit the robbery him or herself, but is indirectly involved such as keeping a lookout or encouraging the individual to commit the crime of robbery, he or she can be charged with aiding and abetting the robbery.

Armed Habitual Felon

Under North Carolina law, someone who has been convicted with the same crime more than once is subject to enhanced sentencing laws. Someone who is charged with armed robbery who has a prior record of similar charges will be subjected to the state’s Armed Habitual Felon (AHF) sentencing enhancement. The AHF applies to someone currently facing armed robbery charges in North Carolina who has previously been convicted or pled guilty to at least one firearm-related offense. He or she will be classified as an armed habitual felon and will have a status offense that is charged separate and apart from the new armed robbery charge. If the accused is convicted of both the armed robbery charge and the armed habitual felon status charge, he or she will be charged with a Class C felony. Under North Carolina law, a Class C felony has a minimum sentencing of 120 months in prison. Notably, this minimum 120 month prison sentence cannot be suspended or substituted with probation.

Civil Rights Suspended

Part of the reasoning behind the enhanced punishment for repeat armed robbery offenders is because after the first conviction of this crime, federal and state law strips away the person’s right to gun ownership. In fact, a felony conviction removes an individual’s civil rights, which includes loss of voting rights and gun ownership, among others. If the second armed robbery conviction was under state instead of federal law, North Carolina allows the individual to petition to restore his or her civil rights after 20 years. If the second armed robbery conviction was under federal law, however, the individual’s ban on gun ownership is permanent; that is, however, unless he or she receives a rare presidential pardon or a rare administrative restoration of his or her civil rights.


A charge that is related to robbery is safecracking. If someone attempts to illegally open a safe or vault in Monroe Union County -- or if he or she removes a safe or vault from its premises -- for the purpose of tampering, stealing, or ascertaining the safe’s contents, then he or she may be found guilty of a Class I felony.

Criminal Defense Help

If you or someone you care about is facing a robbery charge in Monroe Union County or anywhere else in North Carolina, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Whether at the state or federal level, robbery charges are a serious property crime that can carry heavy consequences. The results of your case can impact your life permanently. Contact the North Carolina law firm of Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for your initial case evaluation. Our attorneys are experienced in defending the rights of clients in simple robbery, armed robbery, safecracking, and other related criminal charges.