Being a city full of establishments of extreme glamor and people with large sums of money in their pockets, robbery is commonplace in Las Vegas and other regions in the State of Nevada. From a statistical report by Area Vibes, it shows that the annual number of robbery crimes reported in the city is 3,436. This is verified by the robbery crimes that fill up the everyday work of the police and the news that Las Vegas resident see. Fortunately, Las Vegas robbery laws are quite strict.
Robbery is distinct from other theft crimes as it uses threat and actual execution of violence to get money and properties from the victim. So aside from the crime of stealing, robbery can also result in physical injury and death. In this article, we will look deeper at its implications and the penalties that can be imposed if you are found guilty of the crime. However, if you are misidentified as a robber, know that a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you be free of charges. You can read below for more information.
Factors that constitute Las Vegas robbery
The Nevada Revised Statutes provides a legal definition of robbery and Las Vegas robbery laws. According to NRS 200.380, it is the “unlawful taking of personal property from the person of another, or in the person’s presence, against his or her will, by means of force or violence or fear of injury.” The statute also specified that violence is used in this form of theft to:
- Obtain or retain possession of the property
- Prevent or overcome resistance to the taking
- Facilitate escape
Las Vegas robbery can also take different forms but nonetheless has the same factors such as the use of threat and violence to get what you want.
There is the robbery through force where the thief uses his own brute strength or verbal intimidation to make the victim surrender his or her possessions. Another one and the most common is armed robbery, where criminals use weapons such as a knife or a gun to ultimately scare a victim. The last variation is carjacking where the thief uses a weapon or own physical capabilities to force a driver out and take the vehicle away.
Sample scenarios of robbery include:
- Going to an establishment and flashing or holding a gun asking for money or properties (e.g. bank robbery)
- Suddenly confronting a person and violently threatening them for their possessions
- Approaching a person from behind and pressing a deadly weapon on their back so he or she will surrender their case
Understand that is still considered an armed Las Vegas robbery even though you only used your fingers or other objects to pass off like a gun. The fact that the person was coerced in giving out their money or property should be more than enough to be labeled as a crime.
Any type of robbery in Las Vegas incurs serious penalties, especially if it resulted in fatalities or a great threat to the life of the victim. Several factors can also increase the consequences one can receive.
Penalties of robbery in Las Vegas
Following the preceding point, the penalties of robbery when you commit in Las Vegas or other places in Nevada is category B felony where you will spend two to 15 years in the Nevada State Prison.
Take note that in Nevada, there is a separate law regarding the use of deadly weapons to coerce people (see gun carry laws here). When it is tied with a crime, the court will add an extra set of years to your already distended prison term but it should not go beyond the years already established by the initial penalty.
Defenses against robbery accusations in Las Vegas
Because of the hastiness of this crime, victims of Las Vegas robbery can be confused about who actually robbed them. If you are around the area when the robbery happened, there is the possibility of you being falsely accused especially if you have the likeness of the robber or mistaken as involved with the robber in any way due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When this happens, you can argue the following:
- You were mistaken as the robber
- You are not in the place where and when the crime was committed
- There is not enough proof to show that you are indeed the robber and you have strong pieces of evidence that it is not you
- You did steal from the victim(s) but you did not use violence at all, rather you have pickpocketed or taken money or property while they are away
Things do after a robbery in Las Vegas
The law enforcement of Las Vegas is very much on guard about instances of robbery and other theft crimes such as pickpocketing and larceny. If you are being robbed or mugged, the best thing to do is not fight back, especially if you are alone and cornered by the thief. If you are however in a public place with plenty of people, you can call for help but this also needs to be taken with caution and is not always recommended particularly if it is an armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Once the thief escapes with your property, contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) right away and ask for the assistance of other people. When credit cards or important documents are taken from you, quickly call your banks or related agencies and lock out your accounts to avoid potential identity theft.
If you are an individual who found yourself being accused of robbery you did not perpetrate, also be swift in calling for the help of a criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas to defend yourself!