If you’ve been charged with robbery in New Jersey, you know that you’ve been charged with one of two types of robbery. You’ve either been charged with first degree robbery, which involves a weapon, a gun, or a knife, or you’ve been charged with what’s commonly referred to as a strong arm robbery or taking something from someone or trying to take something from someone with the use of force; a push, a punch, a shove. In New Jersey, they’re treated differently. As a first degree robbery, those with a weapon come along with a sentence somewhere between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey state prison where you have to serve 85% of the time before you’re eligible for parole. Obviously, this is a very harsh sentence and a very serious crime.

Second degree robbery or the strong arm robbery sentencing ranges from 5 years to 10 years in New Jersey state prison with the same 85% before parole applying. Either is very, very serious in nature, and you should always consult with an attorney before going to court. There are various defenses to robbery charges; there are various ways to handle robbery charges including the potential of downgrading them to a theft or a shoplifting depending upon the facts of your particular case. A theft or a shoplifting charge carries much, much lesser penalties with the potential of probation or alternate sentences that don’t involve state prison and certainly don’t involve the no early release act or the 85% law that I discussed earlier. In any event, each case requires an individual review by an experienced attorney to determine what defenses you may have and look into your case to see what the best way to proceed is in your particular circumstance.

Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your case, call the law office, located in Hoboken, to set up a free initial consultation.