While the amounts taken don’t appear to have been anything significant, Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers know that with robbery cases, it’s more about the way it was stolen, as opposed to what has been stolen.
This is a point that is lost on a lot of robbery defendants.
You think, “Well, it was only a cell phone.”
But if you threatened someone directly or took it by force, you’ve now committed a felony offense, as opposed to misdemeanor petty theft.
For example, let’s say that you steal a cell phone is worth $200 from an unlocked vehicle. Under Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-401, because the value of it is less than $500, your crime would be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. That means you could be fined between $250 and $1,000 and will be facing between 3 months to 1 year in jail.
Now, let’s say that cell phone is a brand new iPhone, and just for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s worth $505. That bumps it up to a Class 1 misdemeanor, because the value is more than $500, but less than $1,000. That increases your potential penalties to a fine of up to $5,000 and between 6 and 18 months in jail.
Your crime is not considered a felony unless the value of the item you’ve stolen tops $1,000. Even then, if it’s under $20,000, it’s considered a Class 4 felony.
Now, let’s take that same $200 cell phone. Let’s say you approach someone and demand he or she hand it over or you’ll beat them up. Now, you’ve just committed simple robbery, which under Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-301 is a Class 4 felony. That’s punishable by a minimum of two years in prison and up to six. If you use a firearm to make your threat, it’s worse – aggravated robbery, which is a Class 3 felony. Not only are you now facing up to 12 years in prison, but aggravated robbery is considered a violent crime, which means your penalties can be even further enhanced.
In this case, the three defendants are 18 and 19 years-old. They reportedly used a knife to rob two people in a parked car at a park in once incident. In two other incidents, they reportedly used a knife to rob two different pizza delivery persons. And in the final incident, the trio is accused of using a baseball bat to rob two people in a park.
Even though no one was hurt and relatively little cash or valuables were taken, these three will need a skilled criminal defense attorney.