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North Carolina Criminal Law 14-87: Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon The crime of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon under North Carolina Criminal Law 14-87 is a felony criminal offense characterized by the taking if another person’s personal property, without their permission or consent, by use of a dangerous weapon, threatening their life, or endangering their life.

To prove a defendant committed the crime of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in North Carolina, the State bears the Burden of Proof. They also bear the Burden of Production of Evidence.

RWDW charges (Robbery with Dangerous Weapon) are felonies. As such, the accused (the Defendant) is entitled to “Discovery.”

Defense lawyers may file a “Motion for Discovery,” under the NC Criminal Laws.

The prosecutor (the attorney for the State responsible for prosecution of criminal charges in Charlotte) must present sufficient evidence of the offense to establish a prima facie showing, including things like:

  1. The Defendant (the person accused of robbery) took personal property belonging to someone else. “Personal property” may include things like money, jewelry and watches, cell phones, and other things of value. “Real Property” refers to land and houses.

  2. The Defendant took the personal property while in the presence of the alleged victim.

  3. The Defendant “carried away” (moved the property, even for a short period of time or distance) the personal property to keep the victim from possessing their property.

  4. The owner of the property (the alleged victim) did not give consent or permission to the Defendant to take or move the personal property.

  5. The Defendant reasonably should have known or did in fact known they were not entitled to take the property (absence of mistake)

  6. When the Defendant took the property, they intended to permanently deprive the victim of owner ship or “permanently deprive” them of their property

  7. At the time of the “robbery” (taking the property), the Defendant had and/or used a dangerous weapon

  8. The taking of the property, by use of the dangerous weapon, amounted to the endangerment of the victim’s life or threatening the victim with their life

“Carrying away” means that the property was moved – even the slightest movement or temporary movement of the property may be enough to prove this essential element.

In some circumstances, the defendant preventing the owner from possession or having the property in the Defendant’s possession could be enough to establish this element.

“Permanent deprivation” is defined as the Defendant intending to deprive the victim of the use of the property indefinitely. Temporary deprivation is not enough and may be used as a defense to this crime.

The Defendant need not intend keep the property for themselves.

In determining whether a weapon is “dangerous” the jury can consider the following: the type or nature of the weapon, how the weapon was used, and the size or strength of the Defendant relative to that of the alleged victim.

The N.C. Supreme Court, in a criminal law ruling, has held that a person’s bare hands alone are not considered to be dangerous weapon for robbery charges in North Carolina.

There are certain presumptions in court, including the Presumption of Innocence in favor of the person accused of criminal charges. Another, “mandatory presumption” is that some weapons by their very nature are deemed, as a matter of law, deadly or dangerous weapons.

2. Examples of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon

The Defendant approaches a woman in a parking lot. The defendant holds a knife to the woman’s side and demands cash. The woman hands the defendant her wallet and the defendant runs off. The Defendant may be charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, a Class D Felony Offense.

The Defendant orders coffee from a fast food restaurant. When the employee opens the register, the defendant demands the money and tells the employee there is a knife in his pocket. The employee can see a black object sticking out of the defendants pocket and therefore quickly gives the money to the defendant. The defendant then runs out of the store. The Defendant may be charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, a Class D Felony Offense.

The defendant holds a broken piece of glass to another person’s neck and steals their phone and watch. The Defendant may be charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, a Class D Felony Offense.

The defendant approaches a pedestrian walking on a sidewalk, showing them a banana stating, “Your money or your life.” The State of North Carolina would be hard-pressed showing a banana is a “dangerous weapon” for robbery charges.

3. Related Offenses

Other related criminal charges in Charlotte, N.C., and offenses include:

  1. a. What does Burden of Proof mean?
  2. b. Criminal Law FAQs
  3. c. What is an Indictment?
  4. d. What is Felony Larceny?
  5. e. How are Bond Hearings set?
  6. f. About Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyer – Bill Powers
4. Defenses to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon

A Defendant may be able to challenge the crime of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon with these common defenses:

  1. Mistake of Fact - Mistaken belief of ownership or right of the property
  2. Consent – The alleged victim gave permission or consent to take the personal property
  3. No intent to “permanently deprive” (temporary deprivation)
  4. Lack of use of force or threat
  5. Lack or use of a deadly weapon
  6. Alleged victim not present during the “taking.”
5. Penalties

Under North Carolina Criminal Law 14-87: Felonious Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon is a Class D Felony, carrying a maximum period of incarceration of up to 204 months.

In addition to active jail time, other terms and punishment conditions can include:

  • Probation
  • Community Service
  • Costs of Court
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Civil judgment for damages

Other penalties of a felony conviction can include losing the following: right to own or possess a firearm, right to vote (during the period of incarceration, post release supervision and prior to any reinstatement of the right to vote), right to serve on a jury, right to work in state offices or in occupations requiring federal or state licenses, etc.

6. Criminal Defense for Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon

Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon If you have been charged or arrested for Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in Charlotte, we recommend you contact a criminal defense attorney.

Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon charges, if convicted, carry harsh punishment and long lasting consequences in the community.

Our team of focused criminal defense attorneys in Charlotte are dedicated to compassionate legal representation and zealous courtroom advocacy.

Once properly retained, we will carefully examine the State’s case, including reviewing the discovery materials, witness statements, and forensic evidence associated with the robbery charges with advice on how to challenge each of the elements required for Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and guide you through the court process.

The Powers Law Firm PA provides free, confidential consultations for criminal charges. Our criminal lawyers provide help to people in Charlotte-Mecklenburg as well as Gaston County, Iredell County, Lincoln County, Catawba County, Union County, Rowan County, and Stanly County, North Carolina.

Attorney Bill Powers is licensed only in North Carolina. Attorney Chris Beddow is licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. CALL NOW: 704-342-4357

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