The crime of robbery usually involves property being taken from a person by an alleged offender, and police departments will aggressively investigate and pursue any suspects. An armed robbery that involves a dangerous weapon is referred to as aggravated robbery in Kansas.
Robbery is a felony offense, so a conviction typically means severe punishments for an alleged offender. Depending on a person's prior criminal record, they could be facing a lengthy prison sentence and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
If you were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged robbery in the greater Wichita area, do not say anything to authorities until you have obtained legal representation. Contact me, James Pratt of Pratt Law, LLC as soon as possible.
Together, we will review the facts of your case and discuss the best defense for you. I will aggressively fight to get the robbery charges reduced or dismissed. Call me at (316) 262-2600 or reach out online to receive a free consultation.
Robbery Laws In Kansas
Kansas Statute § 21-5420 establishes that a person commits the crime of robbery if they knowingly take property from the person or presence of another party by force or by the threat of bodily harm to any person. Robbery is a severity level 5 person felony.
A person commits aggravated robbery if they commit the crime while armed with a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily harm upon any person in the course of the robbery. Aggravated robbery is a severity level 3 person felony.
The key term to focus on in the Kansas Statute is “knowingly,” as a prosecutor will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly took property from another party. Under Kansas Statute § 21-5202, culpable mental states are classified according to relative degrees, from highest to lowest, as intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly.
Kansas Statute § 21-5202(h) defines acting “intentionally,” or “with intent,” as an alleged offender's “conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.” Under Kansas Statute § 21-5202(i), acting “knowingly,” or “with knowledge,” is an alleged offender being “aware of the nature of such person's conduct or that the circumstances exist.”
Crimes in which the mental culpability is “intentionally” or “with intent” are specific intent crimes, and crimes in which the mental culpability requirement is “knowingly,” “known,” or “with knowledge” are general intent crimes. Kansas Statute § 21-5202(j) defines acting “recklessly” or being “reckless,” as consciously disregard of a “substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.”
It is extremely difficult for a prosecutor to prove what a person was thinking when they committed any crime. Such accusations are usually based on circumstantial evidence, and you may have a defense if you took another person's property as a result of confusion or mistake.
What are the penalties for a robbery conviction in Wichita?
In Kansas, a convicted person's sentence will depend on the severity level of their crime and their criminal record. Judges in Kansas determine sentences based on the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines.
The state's sentencing guidelines provide three different possible sentences for each grid:
- An aggravated sentence for cases involving aggravating factors
- A mitigated range for cases involving mitigating factors
- A presumptive range for cases involving equal amounts of or no aggravating factors and mitigating factors.
A person convicted of robbery faces a maximum fine of $300,000 and up to 34 months in prison. A person convicted of armed robbery faces a maximum fine of up to $300,000 and 61 months in jail.
Kansas state law requires criminal charges to be filed within five years of the commission of an alleged crime. A court can toll (delay) the limitations period, however, when an alleged offender has left the state, is hiding so that process cannot be served, the crime was covered up, or if prosecution is pending against the defendant for the same conduct.
Defending Against Robbery Charges in Kansas
If you have been arrested and charged with robbery, there are several possible defenses available to you. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, your attorney will identify the strongest possible defense to mount. This could include questioning the prosecution's evidence against you and claiming innocence, or it could mean admitting to doing what you've been accused of, but doing so unwittingly or under coercion or duress.
Potential defenses to a robbery charge could include (but are not limited to):
- Innocence – You did not perform the actions the prosecutor has accused you of doing.
- Involuntary intoxication – For example, you drank a punch that was spiked with alcohol and unwittingly became too intoxicated to know what you were doing.
- Duress – If someone threatened you with severe injury or death if you did not agree to commit the robbery, you could claim that you only did so under duress.
- Entrapment – If the robbery was simply a “set-up” to get you into trouble, this could potentially be a defense.
Because robbery is a serious criminal offense, it is critical to put forward the strongest possible defense. Turn to an attorney who has handled robbery cases before and has a strong track record of obtaining favorable outcomes on behalf of their clients.
Contact a Wichita Robbery Defense Lawyer
Were you arrested or do you think that you could be under investigation for an alleged robbery in Kansas? If so, you deserve the highest-quality legal representation possible. These are serious charges, but it is possible to get them reduced or dropped with an aggressive defense.
I'm James Pratt, and I represent clients in communities throughout the Wichita area. I will be here answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (316) 262-2600 or contact me online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.