Robbery laws in Colorado address three types of robbery. In this article, we look at all three types of robbery as well as their associated penalties and possible defenses. For more about Colorado’s laws involving other various crimes of theft, check out our post, Theft Crimes in Colorado. We also looked at common crimes of theft during the holidays in our Holiday Theft blog post.

Armed Robbery

Robbery Under Colorado Law

In Colorado, the crime of “robbery” is a class 4 felony. A person commits robbery when he or she knowingly takes anything of value directly from another person or in another person’s presence by the use of force, threats, or intimidation.

Robbery laws in Colorado provide for two additional types of robbery. These types largely depend on whether a deadly weapon was used or threatened to be used, and whether the thing stolen was a controlled substance.

Aggravated robbery” is committed if during the robbery or immediate flight therefrom:

  • A robber or his or her accomplice is armed with a deadly weapon with the intent, if resisted, to kill, main, or wound the person robbed or any other person; or
  • A robber or his or her accomplice knowingly wounds or strikes the person robbed or any other person with a deadly weapon or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation with a deadly weapon knowingly puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or
  • A robber possesses an article used or fashioned so as to lead someone present to reasonably believe it to be a deadly weapon or the robber represents verbally or otherwise that he or she is then and there armed in such a way.

Aggravated robbery is a class 3 felony in Colorado.

Aggravated robbery of controlled substances” is committed where a person commits aggravated robbery and the thing taken is any controlled substance from any pharmacy, other place, pharmacist or other person having lawful possession of the controlled substance. Aggravated robbery of controlled substances is a class 2 felony in Colorado.

Penalties Under Robbery Laws in Colorado

The class 4 felony of basic robbery generally carries penalties of 2 to 6 years in prison, and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000. But if the robbery involved an elderly or disabled person, prison time can increase to 12 years.

Aggravated robbery penalties can include 4 to 16 years in prison and a fine up to $750,000. But if during the robbery (or flight therefrom) the person used or threatened to use a deadly weapon or if anyone was seriously injured, the maximum prison sentence increases to 32 years (with a mandatory minimum of 10 years).

In the case of aggravated robbery of controlled substances, penalties can include 16 to 48 years in prison and fines between $5000 and $1,000,000.

Defenses for Crimes Committed Under Robbery Laws in Colorado

If you are facing a robbery charge in Colorado, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you present applicable defenses. Some of the possible defenses you could assert, depending on the specific type of robbery you’re charged with, include:

  • You didn’t intend to take anything
  • You owned the property or reasonably believed you owned it
  • You didn’t have a deadly weapon
  • While you had a deadly weapon, you didn’t intend to use it
  • The drugs stolen don’t constitute a “controlled substance” under the law in Colorado
  • The relevant evidence was discovered during an illegal search or seizure

Given the very serious penalties for crimes committed under robbery laws in Colorado, a skillful criminal defense attorney can help you try to get the charges dismissed or at least reduced.

Need Legal Help?

If you are in need of criminal defense or family law help, consider reaching out to Colorado Lawyer Team for a free 30-minute consultation. Find more information at or call 970.670.0378.

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