Middletown Robbery Suspect Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

Middletown NJ Robbery Attorney

They say that practice makes perfect. So, when 52-year-old Martin Racioppi walked into an Investors Bank in the Navesink section of Middletown in July 2017 and said to a teller, “give me all your money . . . make it quick,” he was probably thinking that the third time is the charm, that maybe he will get away with it this time.

Yes, Racioppi of Monmouth Beach has two previous bank robbery convictions on his record. In fact, he robbed a Sovereign Bank in Red Bank of $8,000 in 2006 for which he served a seven-year federal sentence, and was released in March 2014. But, it looks like he has not learned his lesson yet.

The day after he got $1,600 from the teller at the Investors Bank in Middletown in July 2017, a confidential informant recognized Racioppi’s neck tattoo on the bank surveillance footage. Caught again, Racioppi pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton to one count of bank robbery this past Monday, March 19th. Racioppi awaits sentencing for his third bank robbery.

What Are The Elements Of Robbery Under New Jersey Law?

Robbery is not the same as simply stealing. For stealing to become a robbery, the theft has to have a threat, or use, of violence associated with it. For example, if someone takes your wallet without you knowing, that person committed theft. However, if someone pointed a gun at you to get your wallet, then that person committed robbery.

The law of robbery New Jersey is outlined at N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. Specifically, the law states that:

1. Robbery defined. A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:

(1) Inflicts bodily injury or uses force upon another; or

(2) Threatens another with or purposely puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury; or

(3) Commits or threatens immediately to commit any crime of the first or second degree.

An act shall be deemed to be included in the phrase “in the course of committing a theft” if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.

Accordingly, proving robbery requires evidence that the perpetrator inflicted bodily injury, used force, or threatened to use force during a theft.

Robbery is typically charged as a second-degree crime, which means that a conviction could lead to a possible 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. However, a Robbery will be charged as a first-degree crime if, during the course of the theft, the perpetrator

  • Attempts to kill a person,
  • Inflicts serious bodily injury on a person, or
  • Threatens a person with a deadly weapon.

A first-degree robbery conviction could result in a 10 to 20 year prison sentence.

With regard to Racioppi’s case, had he been charged in New Jersey state court, rather than federally, he would likely be facing second-degree robbery charges. He clearly committed a theft by taking the money from the teller, and although he did not have a weapon, it appears from the facts of the case that he was threatening to the teller such that the robbery elements would be satisfied.

Monmouth County Robbery Defense Lawyers On Your Side

A robbery charge, whether a state or federal, is a serious offense, which could lead to many years in prison. In Racioppi’s case, given that it is his third conviction for robbery, he is likely looking at over 10 years in prison (his last sentence was seven years long). Given the stakes in a robbery case, you need experts in the field. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are truly the best when it comes to representation of a robbery case.

We understand the nuances of the law, we understand how to negotiate with prosecutors, and we understand how to vigorously try a case to a jury. In any litigation the details matter, and we are details people. We know that even the smallest piece of evidence can make or break a case. Let us discuss your case with you in a free initial consultation. You will be happy you did. Contact our Freehold Criminal Attorneys today at 732-462-1197.

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