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Defense Against Robbery Charges

If you’re accused of robbery in the state of Tennessee, it’s vitally important to get a good criminal defense attorney right away. Though you remain innocent until proven guilty, the prosecutor will work hard to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The pressure is on them to prove your guilt and you will need an experienced lawyer to make sure you are defended properly.

Man trying to take a lady's purse  during a robbery attempt.

Types of Robbery

Tennessee law classifies the crime of robbery on three levels:


The standard charge. Generally gets applied in situations when a person gets accused of intentionally and/or knowingly stealing something from another. A Class C felony, robbery in Tennessee can be punished by a maximum of 15 years in jail and fines up to $10,000

Aggravated Robbery

A person committing robbery with a deadly weapon or any kind of weapon or caused bodily injury to a victim while committing the robbery. In the movies, when the bank robber beats up a guard or bystander, they could be charged with aggravated robbery. This felony gets classified as a Class B, which increases the jail time to 30 years and the fine up to $25,000.

Especially Aggravated Robbery

At first glance, this Class A felony charge has the same requirements as aggravated robbery. The accused committed a robbery while armed, and/or someone was injured during the crime. However, this charge occurs when the accused actually used a deadly weapon and any victims suffered serious physical injuries. This felony carries the penalties of a maximum of 60 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000.

Value of the Stolen Goods

Additionally, Tennessee law categorizes the types of theft by the value of the stolen goods. This becomes important since the value can work in tandem with the type of robbery to determine how the accused will be charged.

· $1,000 or less = Class A Misdemeanor (12 months in jail, maximum $2,500 fine)

· $1,000 to $2,500 = Class E Felony (12 years, $5,000)

· $2,500 to $10,000 = Class D Felony (12 years, $5,000)

· $10,000 to $60,000 = Class C Felony

· $60,000 to $250,000 = Class B Felony

· $250,000 and up = Class A Felony

Potential Defenses


Robbery occurs on multiple levels, both physically and virtually. The defense of innocence increases the need for the prosecution to prove your guilt, but using innocence as a defense requires you to establish your innocence through the information that can refute any charges leveled at your argument.

For example, if a company you worked for accuses you of digitally stealing funds from them, you can provide information that disproves the specific charges, such as system access and physical location at the time of the crime.

Self-Defense and/or Duress

Depending on the situation, it’s possible the accused actually did commit robbery because they were compelled to do so by a third party.

This defense, which focuses on how the accused was forced into a situation and had no alternative but to act as demanded, can be challenging when used for robbery charges. The prosecution has to prove the crime was committed by the accused, and the accused has to prove why they were forced into that situation.

Criminal Defense Attorney David Clarke Can Help

David Clarke has successfully helped clients defending themselves against robbery charges in the state of Tennessee. He understands the law and the Murfreesboro court system. He and the staff of the Clarke Law Firm bring experience and strategic planning to every case.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.