Long Island has seen a number of armed robberies during the past few months.

NBC News in New York reported that two men were charged in regards to a string of armed robberies at Long Island doughnut shops and gas stations. Later in February, according to an ABC News article, authorities were still looking for a different suspect connected with another series of armed robberies at Long Island gas stations and convenience stores. In this second case, despite surveillance shots, the suspect has been difficult to identify because his face is covered by a black mask and a black hooded sweatshirt. However, more severe charges will be sought in this second case due to a homicide that occurred during one of the robbery incidents.

Robbery under the New York Penal Law is a felony for which the degree is determined by factors involved with the alleged crime. In the case of the two men arrested for a string of Long Island robberies, each incident brings a potential separate charge. A first degree robbery charge is the most serious crime and carries potential penalties of  up to 25 years of incarceration. Serious physical injury to anyone not participating in the crime and using or threatening immediate use of a deadly weapon are factors that make first degree robbery the most greatly penalized type of robbery.

An affirmative defense to first degree robbery is that the deadly weapon was not loaded and not capable of causing death or serious injury. However, this defense does not apply to being charged with a second or third degree robbery.

If you are accused of robbery and taken into custody, you should contact a Long Island criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney David Haber is a former prosecutor and has more than a decade of experience as a criminal defense attorney.