Armed robbery is a violent crime that is punished severely in Wisconsin. Any violent crime poses a substantial threat against human life and property, which is why prosecutors and judges take this crime so seriously. However, it is the burden of the prosecutor in any charge of armed robbery to prove all elements of the crime.
In this blog, we will review what armed robbery consists of and how it may be punished if you are found guilty. It is important to remember that every case is different with its own set of unique circumstances, all of which can affect the outcome. Certain factors can “aggravate” a crime, leading to harsher sentencing. Other factors can mitigate a crime, which can lead to lower sentencing.
Armed Robbery Penalties in Wisconsin
Armed robbery is charged as a Class C felony in Wisconsin and carries a maximum prison term of 40 years and/or a fine that can range up to $100,000. Additional penalties can include a lengthy probation, restitution to the victim, and loss of the right to own/possess a firearm.
What Must the Prosecutor Prove to Get a Conviction?
Armed robbery basically consists of stealing property from another forcibly and with the intent to deprive him or her of it. This crime involves the use of a dangerous weapon. Thus, it is composed of various elements, all of which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are part of the definition of armed robbery per Wisconsin Statute 943.32.
The elements of the crime include:
- The victim was the owner or in the possession of the property
- The defendant took and carried away the property
- The defendant’s intention at the time of this event was to steal the property
- The defendant acted “forcibly,” meaning they used force to accomplish their intention
- During this event, the defendant used or threatened to use a dangerous weapon or something that appeared to be a dangerous weapon
What Is a Dangerous Weapon?
According to Wisconsin law, all guns/firearms are dangerous weapons, whether they are loaded or not. Under this rule, you can brandish an unloaded gun during a robbery and still be charged with “armed” robbery. You could also brandish a fake gun that any reasonable person would assume to be a real gun and be charged with armed robbery.
Dangerous weapons, however, are not only guns but can include any weapon designed to cause serious bodily injury or death. Anything you use in an intended way that could lead to physical harm could be a serious weapon. That can include baseball bats, knives, grenades, cleavers, axes, ice picks, shovels, and more.
Fighting Armed Robbery Charges
As mentioned above, every case is unique; the outcome of any armed robbery charge can vary depending on the facts and circumstances. Your case could lead to the charge being dropped or reduced to a lesser one through negotiation with the prosecutor. A negotiated plea bargain could be another option for minimizing penalties.
The one variable you should never leave to chance is your choice of an attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella, you can work with a former prosecutor who has over 20 years of experience in this field and who has tried hundreds of criminal cases. We urge you to contact us as soon as possible so we can provide the legal protections and representation you need.
Contact us at (414) 882-8382 or online to schedule a free consultation about your armed robbery charge today.