To convict on a robbery charge, the Revised Statutes of Missouri require prosecutors to show that a defendant used coercion. As noted by the Missouri Legislature, robbery in the first degree qualifies as a class A felony offense. Robbery alleges that a defendant displayed a deadly weapon or threatened to use it while taking property or money.
If law enforcement filed robbery charges, obtaining a conviction may require proof of physical injury. Robbery offenses may, however, also include thefts that cause serious property damage or involve taking controlled substances from a pharmacy.
Evidence of a dangerous weapon or its use during a theft
Evidence may make a difference in how a prosecutor persuades the court to convict. The U.S. Department of Justice explains that the prosecutor and defense attorney gather facts during the discovery process. They may, for example, review still images or video footage that captured an event.
Officials may contact witnesses to discuss their version of how the events of an alleged crime unfolded. A witness may, for example, provide information detailing how a theft involved a deadly weapon. Although an eyewitness may appear ready to testify in court, a prosecutor could still require evidence that corroborates the witness’s statements.
Proof confirming or rejecting a witness’s testimony
To analyze a witness’s testimony, the court may allow a professional to provide information surrounding the events. A forensic scientist, for example, may offer insights into the ballistic evidence found at a crime scene. According to the Crime Museum, bullets and their motions may or may not match the alleged weapon used during a theft.
Harm experienced by an individual or a business may result in a prosecutor’s attempt to convict on a felony charge. Missouri residents, however, have a right to counter a prosecutor’s claims. Without substantial evidence, a judge may dismiss the case or reduce the penalties.