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Indiana has two types of robbery charges. When a defendant’s charge is taking property from another through the use of force, fear or intimidation, Indiana classifies the robbery as a Level 5 felony. Upon conviction, punishment may include a fine of up to $10,000 and between one and six years of incarceration. Classified as the more serious charge, armed robbery is a Level 3 felony offense. Punishment may include incarceration of between three and 16 years and a fine of no more than $10,000.

An armed robbery conviction, however, requires proof that an individual used threat, force or intimidation and also intended the use of a dangerous weapon in connection with the act. As noted by the Greenfield Daily Reporter, a 19-year-old Hancock County resident facing a charge for armed robbery was able to accept a plea deal and have her conviction reduced to the lesser Level 5 felony robbery charge.

Reducing the charge through a plea bargain

In exchange for pleading guilty to a Level 5 felony robbery charge, the defendant received a punishment of four years of probation. After spending some time in jail awaiting trial, she thought about her actions and apologized in court. The defendant would have faced a much greater punishment if the court had tried and convicted her of a Level 3 felony armed robbery charge.

Internet cellphone sale becomes a robbery

The defendant’s arrest came after taking a mobile device from an individual who agreed to sell it to her through the internet. When the two individuals met to make the purchase exchange, the defendant took the cellphone from the seller and attempted to drive away without paying for it. At the time, there was a weapon in the defendant’s vehicle. When the seller attempted to retrieve the cellphone by reaching into the defendant’s car, the defendant reportedly kept driving and dragged her along in the street.

While the victim suffered injuries and abrasions, she may not have been under threat or force when handing her cellphone over to the defendant. The defendant admitted to having the weapon in her vehicle when pulled over, but that may not be sufficient evidence to prove she intended to actually use it. With a strong legal defense, prosecutors may have had a difficult time proving that the robber was actually a dangerous threat to the cellphone seller.