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Robbery Involving a Controlled Substance

Federal robbery charges come with notoriously harsh penalties. In fact, a first time offender with a previously clean criminal record could end up spending ten years in prison, even if he or she is only accused of conspiring with someone else to commit the robbery, but never actually ended up completing the act. Formulating a strong defense in these types of cases is critical, so it is especially important for defendants who have been charged with robbery involving a controlled substance to retain an experienced federal crime attorney who can ensure that their rights and interests are protected.

Elements of the Offense

The federal offense of robbery is charged as a felony crime and is considered even more serious when prosecutors allege that controlled substances were involved. This is partly due to the fact that many different types of conduct fall under the purview of the statute. For instance, federal law prohibits both taking and attempting to take any amount of a controlled substance that belongs to or is in the possession of someone registered with the DEA. This applies equally to situations where a defendant is accused of using force or violence and in cases where he or she is charged with using intimidation and threats.

The federal statute prohibiting this type of robbery is also broad enough to cover situations in which a person enters or attempts to enter onto the business premises of a pharmacist or other person registered with the DEA, as long as he or she intended to steal any type of controlled substance. A person can also be charged with robbery and sentenced to ten years imprisonment if he or she conspired to commit a robbery with someone else, even if the other party is actually the one who made an overt act to further the conspiracy.

The definition used by Congress when defining a controlled substance is broad and includes everything from opiates and marijuana to methamphetamine and a variety of prescription drugs. Furthermore, the federal government’s description of what qualifies as business premises or property includes not only storage facilities, but also conveyances, making it much easier for prosecutors to charge defendants with this offense, even when the alleged robbery didn’t take place in an actual building.

The Consequences of Conviction

Defendants who are convicted of robbery involving a controlled substance could be sentenced to up to 20 years imprisonment and being forced to pay hefty fines if:

  • The replacement cost of the drugs was more than $500;
  • The defendant traveled in interstate commerce to facilitate the taking of the drugs; or
  • Someone else was injured or killed during the robbery.

The penalties are even more severe when the person charged with robbery is also accused of assaulting a third party or using a dangerous weapon or device during the commission or attempted commission of the offense. In these cases, defendants who are convicted of robbery involving a controlled substance could face up to 25 years imprisonment.

The Legal Representation You Deserve

To speak with an experienced and dedicated federal crime lawyer about your own pending robbery charges in South Florida, please call Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. at (305) 670-9919 today.

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