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The two degrees of robbery in Rhode Island

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense

There are a lot of elements to a robbery offense. How much force did the offender use to intimidate the victim? What did the offender take from the victim? Who was the victim? Were there any weapons involved?

In Rhode Island, there are two types of robbery charges. Which one you face depends on the circumstances of your offense.

First-degree robbery

A robbery offense is a first-degree robbery if at least one of the following conditions apply:

  • A dangerous weapon was used
  • The victim was injured
  • The victim was someone who is severely impaired or an elderly person

If a court convicts a person of first-degree robbery, they face not less than 10 years of prison or up to life imprisonment. A court can also require them to pay as much as $15,000 in fines.

Second-degree robbery

If a person commits robbery where there’s no weapon and no injury, and the victim is neither a severely impaired or an elderly person, the offense is second-degree robbery.

A conviction for second-degree robbery leads to not less than five years but no more than 30 years of imprisonment. Alternatively, the court can order the convicted person to pay as much as $10,000 in fines.

Robbery offenses in Rhode Island fall under either of these categories. Generally speaking, if a robbery offense involves a weapon, injuries or especially vulnerable victims, it’s a first-degree offense. If you face either of these charges, consider consulting a legal professional. A lawyer may be able to help craft a plan for your defense and protect your rights during the court hearing.