A Cincinnati man is facing criminal charges for aggravated robbery, among other things, after allegedly holding up a U.S. Bank in West Carrolton, OH last month. According to reports, 46-year-old Aaron Lamont entered the U.S. Bank on S. Alex Road wearing a disguise. He displayed a gun while demanding cash. He was apprehended by police less than two hours after the mid-day stick up.
What is Aggravated Robbery? How Is It Different From Other Robbery Charges?
Robbery is a theft offense in Ohio. The crime, as defined under ORC 2911.02, occurs when you do any of the following things while attempting to or successfully committing a theft:
- Have a deadly weapon in your possession or control
- Inflict or attempt to cause physical harm on another person, or
- Use or threatened physical force against another person.
In other words, you can face robbery charges if you take property from another person against their will if you have a weapon, use force, or the threat of force.
An aggravated robbery takes things a bit further. Under ORC 29011.01, you can face charges for an aggravated robbery if you, while attempting to or successfully committing a theft offense, do any of the following things:
- Have and use, display, or threaten to show a deadly weapon
- Have a dangerous ordnance on you or under your control, or
- Inflict, or attempt to inflict, serious bodily harm.
So, a robbery can be aggravated if you have, show, or threaten to use a weapon, or if you try to (or successfully) cause someone to get seriously injured. That means even threatening to use or show a weapon, even if you don’t intend to use the weapon, would warrant charges for an aggravated offense.
What’s the Difference Between a Deadly Weapon and a Dangerous Ordnance?
Ohio’s aggravated robbery law refers to both deadly weapons and deadly ordnances. What are these? How are they different?
Deadly Weapon: A deadly weapon is defined as “ any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried, or used as a weapon.” This could potentially include:
- Hand tools, including hammers and screwdrivers, and
Dangerous Ordnance: A dangerous ordnance is more specifically defined under Ohio state law. The list includes any:
- Automatic or sawed-off firearm
- Ballistic knife
- Explosive devices and explosive substances
- Firearm suppressors or mufflers
- Firearms, rockets, grenades, bombs, or similar weapons (and ammunition) designed and manufactured for military purposes.
Deadly weapons can include almost anything that could be used to inflict serious injury or death. Dangerous ordnances are kind of like aggravated deadly weapons. The penalties for aggravated robbery might be harsher if you use or have a dangerous ordnance at the time of your arrest.
Is Aggravated Robbery A Felony in Ohio?
Robbery is always a felony offense in Ohio. Without aggravating factors, robbery can be charged as a second-degree or third-degree offense. A robbery conviction can land you behind bars for anywhere between one and eight years in prison, depending on the charges.
Aggravated robbery is also a felony in Ohio. Since the crime is more serious, so are the felony charges. As a first-degree felony, aggravated robbery is punishable by:
- Between three and ten years in an Ohio state prison
- $20,000 in fines, and
You can also face additional charges related to weapons possession and/or causing someone else to get hurt.
What Can I Do If I’m Arrested For Aggravated Robbery in Ohio?
Aggravated robbery is a serious crime and the consequences of a conviction can follow you for life. A strong defense, led by an experienced criminal defense attorney, is the best way to protect your future. Your attorney can assess your case and determine which arguments are best for your particular situation. Defenses can include:
- You weren’t attempting or committing a theft crime
- You didn’t have a dangerous weapon or dangerous ordnance
- You didn’t use, threaten to use, or display a dangerous weapon
- You’ve been misidentified or falsely accused, or
- You didn’t cause or attempt to cause a serious bodily injury.
Your lawyer will also determine if your rights have been violated in any way. If they have, state evidence can be challenged and potentially excluded from your case.