In addition to common law robbery, North Carolina law contains the statutory offense of robbery with a firearm or other dangerous weapon. The use of of firearm or other dangerous weapon while committing a robbery greatly increases the severity of the crime and the punishment received. The armed robbery statute provides that a person commits robbery with a firearm or other dangerous weapon when he “unlawfully takes or attempts to take personal property from another or from any place of business, residence or banking institution or any other place where there is a person or persons in attendance, at any time” while he possesses or uses a firearm or other dangerous weapon and the life of the person is endangered or threatened.
To prove that a person committed armed robbery, the following elements must be shown:
- the defendant took property from the person of another or in his presence
- the defendant carried away the property
- the person did not voluntarily consent to the taking and carrying away of the property
- the defendant knew he was not entitled to take the property
- at the time of taking the defendant intended to deprive that person of its use permanently
- the defendant had a firearm or other dangerous weapon in his possession at the time he obtained the property (or that it reasonably appeared to the victim that a firearm or other dangerous weapon was being used)
- the defendant obtained the property by endangering or threatening the life of the other person with the firearm or other dangerous weapon
A person who commits armed robbery is guilty of a Class D felony. A Class D felony is punishable by a sentence ranging from 38 to 160 months, depending on prior convictions. Anyone who has committed a Class D felony must be sentenced to active jail time.