A Tahlequah, Oklahoma robbery is defined as the wrongful taking of another’s personal property from that person’s body or from the immediate surrounding area by means of force or fear. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 791)
It is the use of force or fear in taking something from another person’s body or immediate surrounding that makes this a crime against a person. This makes robbery a crime of violence, and violent crimes are always treated seriously in Oklahoma.
The amount of force used is immaterial to whether the crime has occurred. Even the smallest amount of force or fear will be enough to meet that element of the crime as long as its presence would make a reasonable person feel afraid.
Oklahoma Robbery is a Felony
Robbery can be charged in a number of different ways depending upon the circumstances of the crime. However, it is important to know that all robbery is considered a felony in Oklahoma. And that means that you will face prison time if convicted.
Oklahoma is a jurisdiction that classifies crimes by degree. Robbery in Oklahoma can be of the first or second degree, with robbery in the first degree the more serious crime of the two.
The penalties for Oklahoma robbery fall either under first or second-degree robbery. In first-degree robbery, the assailant either inflicts or threatens serious bodily harm, puts the victims in fear of immediate serious bodily injury, or commits or threatens to commit a felony against a person. All other robberies are charged as second degree. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 797)
First-degree robbery is a felony offense punishable by not less than 10 years in prison. Second-degree robbery is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 798)
A Detailed Examination of Elements and Defenses
In order to secure a conviction of robbery, the prosecution must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. If any element goes unproven, there can be no conviction. As such, defenses tend to be clustered around elements.
To constitute robbery, the force or fear used must be done so either to get or retain possession of the property, or to prevent or overcome resistance to its taking. If employed merely as a means of escape, it does not constitute robbery. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 792) This can be an important distinction.
The fear which constitutes robbery may be either: the fear of an immediate or future unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed or of any relative, or the fear of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed, at the time of the robbery. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 794) Thus, if the fear is a fear unrelated to either the person robbed, his or her property, or to a relative, you may have a defense to the crime.
Because the crime of Oklahoma robbery focuses on the effect of fear or force on the person rather than on the property taken, the value of the property taken is immaterial. It can be of minimal value, but if force or fear were used in the taking, you could be convicted. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 795)
Likewise, because the crime focuses on the quality of force or fear used in the taking, if the victim was unaware of the taking, there is no crime. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 796)
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer
Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you’ve been accused of an Oklahoma robbery.
For a free consultation, call the Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll free at 888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.