Serving the Elizabeth NJ Superior Court & All Municipal Courts in Union County

Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 100 Year of Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors



Robbery – N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1

Linden NJ Robbery Attorney

Whenever someone attempts or actually commits a theft by force it is referred to as robbery.  If you were arrested for purportedly robbing another person, you are facing one of the more extreme offenses contained in the New Jersey Criminal Code. Armed robbery results in a first degree crime, the most severe grade of offense an individual can face at the Criminal Division in Elizabeth. This is where you case will be heard since a local municipal court in Elizabeth, Plainfield, Linden, Union or Westfield, lacks jurisdiction to decide an indictable offense like robbery.

Our firm, Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, specializes in the defense of those accused of robbery and other criminal offenses. Several attorneys of our eight members are former prosecutors that make up a team with over 100 years of collective experience. An attorney who has significant knowledge and skill in robbery cases is available for a free initial consultation in our Union Office by calling 908-272-1700. Initial consultations with our lawyers are free of charge so there is no reason to hesitate in contacting us.

Robbery Charge in Union County

The offense of robbery can be a first degree or second degree charge. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 generally defines “robbery” as the commission of a theft through force or threat of force. A key issue to raise when defending a robbery charge is the fact that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was “in the course of committing a theft” when force was used. This means that force must have exercised during the attempt, commission, or immediate flight from the theft.

The level of force itself may also be raised as a defense in some cases. The force need not entail pain or bodily harm and need not leave any mark. Nevertheless, the force must be greater than that which is necessary to take the object from the victim’s grasp or the victim’s person. Accordingly, the force must be directed against the victim, not merely the victim’s property.

What separates the grading of a robbery is the means by which the force is exercised or threatened. Where the threat is the use of non-deadly physical force, or what is commonly referred to as a strong arm robbery, the robbery indictment or arrest will be labeled a second degree robbery.  When a deadly weapon is the means of force or threat, there is an escalation in the grading to first degree robbery, which carries considerably greater penalties.

Fines, Jail, and Other Penalties if Found Guilty of Robbery

Robbery charges carry considerable penalties under New Jersey law, primarily due to the fact that the grading of an alleged robbery can only be first or second degree, with a presumption of incarceration even for a first offense. An individual arrested or indicted for robbery in the second degree is exposed to 5 to 10 years of jail. A conviction for robbery as a first degree carries a potential jail sentence of 10 to 20 years.

It is also important to note that any prison term imposed for robbery in NJ is also subject to the No Early Release Act (“NERA”). NERA mandates that an individual serve at least 85% of his or her prison term before they are eligible for parole.  Because a finding of guilty to robbery always triggers the No Early Release Act, our attorneys focus on having the charge downgraded to Theft of the Person, a third degree crime which falls outside of NERA.

The maximum fine that may be imposed at the time of convictions for robbery is also significant. First degree robbery carries a potential fine of up to $200,000. A second degree robbery plea or finding of guilt results in a fine of up to $150,000.

Elizabeth, NJ Robbery Defense Attorneys

If an individual is convicted of robbery in Union County, he is virtually guaranteed of serving upwards of a decade or more in NJ prison.  It is therefore crucially important that anyone arrested for robbery have an experienced attorney at his side. The lawyers at our office, Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, have been defending individuals on charges like robbery, possession of weapon for an unlawful purpose and illegal handgun charges for over 100 years combined. Both Jonathan F. Marshall and Colin Bonus possess in excess of 25 years in practice with several other attorneys also having considerable exposure to representation of charged with robbery. A lawyer is prepared to undertake a thorough review of the robbery offense that was issued in against you in Cranford, Kenilworth, Rahway, Scotch Plains, Hillside or another location in Union County.  Call us now at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation.