Understanding the Different Types of Robbery

Posted On June 30, 2018 Criminal Defense

For determining sentences, Arizona law distinguishes types of robbery into three categories: basic robbery, aggravated, and armed. A defense lawyer will help you determine the type of robbery and plan the best defense for the charges you may face.

Types of robbery charges in Arizona


For someone to commit robbery, the perpetrator must take the property of another against his or her will. This can include the use of threats or physical force, as well as coercing the other party to give up the property.

A robbery is a Class 4 felony charge. For first-time offenders, the sentence can be between one to 3.75 years in prison. For those with previous felony convictions, jail time can be for 2.25 to 7.5 years.

Aggravated Robbery

Aggravated robbery refers to a robbery committed with one or more accomplices present at the scene. The same basic qualifications for standard robbery must apply.

This crime is a Class 3 felony charge. The minimum sentence time for first-time offenders is two years in prison with a maximum of 8.75 years. For repeat offenders, the minimum sentence is 3.5 years while the maximum is 16.25. If you need help after an arrest in Arizona for any of these three charges, contact an experienced Glendale criminal defense lawyer.

Armed Robbery

As the name suggests, an armed robbery occurs when someone conducts robbery while in possession of a lethal weapon or with the threat of deadly force. The victim does not need to see the weapon for a robbery to be armed, so long as the weapon was on the perpetrator’s person at the time of the crime.

Armed robberies carry the most severe sentences and are Class 2 felony charges. Prison time will range between seven and 21 years for a first-time offender and range between 14 and 28 years for those with previous felonies.

In addition to jail time, the court may also sentence additional fines, restitution, or other punishments deemed necessary based on the extent of the crime. A sentence will also consider the value of items stolen during the robbery under laws pertaining to theft.

The Definitions

Theft, burglary, and robbery are three distinct crimes with different legal repercussions, though people use them in everyday conversation interchangeably.


Theft is whenever someone takes property from another without authorization. It usually involves the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Arizona law refers to acts of thievery as “larceny” and classifies them as crimes against property. A theft conviction can have a significant impact on your life, speak with a theft offenses attorney who can help you defend your case.


Though often equated with theft, it does not have to involve the act of theft or stealing. Instead, burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure with the intent of committing a crime. The person does not even need to commit the crime to receive a charge of burglary. Like theft, burglary is a crime against property.


Robbery is theft someone commits through the use of force or fear. Someone swiping a wallet off a counter would be theft; someone taking a wallet by threatening another person or ripping it from the other person’s hand would be robbery. Because of the force involved, robbery is a crime against persons.

Most Common Types of Robbery

Although there are different types of robbery, some of them are more common than others. According to data from the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, larceny-theft is one of the most common types of robbery. Each year there are more than 7 million reported cases of larceny-theft in the U.S. Burglary ranks second as one of the most common types of robbery, with a reported 2 million cases each year.

Possible Robbery Defenses

Since robbery results in severe legal consequences, a conviction can have a great effect on a perpetrator’s life. An incorrect verdict in such a case could severely damage the defendant’s future. Possible defenses for any type of robbery can include an alibi of the defendant’s presence elsewhere, a lack of intent, and violation of the defendant’s rights during the investigation.

Swift action is necessary to reduce the potential consequences of robbery. If you or a loved one is facing a robbery charge, you should seek the help of one of our criminal defense attorneys immediately. Contact us to have your rights explained, determine your most likely court outcome, and offer an unrelenting defense.