We know that police officers are here stop crime. What happens though when a crime is done to them? A source tells of an interesting case in which a man steals a revolver from a police officer.
On April 3, 1975, David Levinson was found guilty by the Orange County County Court of robbery in the first degree, assault in the second degree and grand larceny in the third degree. Levinson appealed to the Court of Appeals for a review of the sentence. Let’s go into the details of what happened.
On September 21, 1974, David Levinson and another man was stopped by Police Officer John Larkin for speeding. When Levinson and his companion got off from the car, they both suddenly ran in opposite directions. Police Officer Larkin chased Levinson and ran into him. They wrestled on the ground for a while but no one seemed to have the advantage. A second police car arrived on the scene however and this was when Levinson suddenly “became extremely violent”. He grabbed the police officer’s revolver and ran away.
In an interview, Larkin said that he received a lot of physical injuries during the fight with Levinson. A bruised eye, a wound in the thumb, and painful swelling in the knee that lasted for several days.
According to our source, 1st degree robbery is robbery with the use of a deadly weapon. Levinson was charged with 1st degree robbery because he stole the property of someone else, Police Officer Larkin’s revolver. Plus, he was armed with it when he ran away. However, given the peculiar situation of this case, the Court of Appeals decided that stealing a deadly weapon and then running away with it does not fall under the definition of 1st degree robbery described by the law. He was found guilty of 2nd degree robbery however because he had used force in robbing Larkin, as evident in the injuries that Larkin got from the fight.
The Court of Appeals agrees with the decision of the County Court. It moved however to dismiss the charges of grand larceny. It said that since robbery was proven, grand larceny no longer applied.
Justice Hopkins of the Court of Appeals however, did not agree with the majority’s decision. According to him, the sentence should not have been reduced to 2nd degree robbery but should have been 1st degree robbery.
The law says that when an offender does physical injury to his victim in the course of the robbery, he is guilty of 2nd degree robbery. However, the law also says that a criminal who is armed with a deadly weapon while committing a crime and while running away from the scene of the crime is guilty of 1st degree robbery. In his testimony, Police Officer Larkin said that the revolver was loaded and ready to fire. This proves that the weapon was indeed deadly.
Justice Hopkins explained that even though the revolver was the stolen item, the fact that it was loaded and ready to use when Levinson had it with him means that the situation was very dangerous. Levinson should thus be charged with 1st degree robbery.
Court cases are very complex. A lot of perspectives and details have to be considered before a decision is finally made. They can drag on for years before finally being put to a close. If you or your loved ones are going through this difficult time, Stephen Bilkis & Associates can provide you with the advice and guidance that you need. It can also recommend you with expert New York Robbery Lawyers.
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