Arlington Robbery Trials
Robbery refers to intentionally trying to deprive someone of their own belongings, sometimes with the use of force. It is a felony offense and can result in serious consequences upon conviction. Upon arrest for a robbery offense, it is important to speak to an attorney. A qualified robbery lawyer with experience navigating Arlington robbery trials could help you navigate the robbery trial process. Speak with a seasoned legal advocate today and know that you are in capable hands.
Commonness of Robbery Trials
Arlington robbery trials are rare because, under Virginia law, a guilty verdict in a robbery case carries with it a minimum five-year prison sentence. After the verdict is rendered, a sentencing hearing is held for the jury to consider a second verdict of what the sentence should be. During those hearings, lawyers are not allowed to argue or mention the existence of sentencing guidelines. Those are used by judges when they calculate the appropriate sentence, but juries are not allowed to use them.
A sentencing guideline range for a first robbery conviction of a defendant without a criminal history usually leads to a recommendation of less than five years, sometimes significantly less. Under those circumstances, the court is allowed to impose a five-year prison sentence, but suspend portions of it to meet the sentencing guidelines. If the party pleads guilty, a court is likely to sentence them to significantly less than five years. For that reason, robbery trials are rare.
Differences Between Robbery and Other Criminal Trials
There is no difference between Arlington robbery trials and other criminal trials. Robbery is theft by force or the threat of force. In criminal trials, the government has the burden of showing the elements of the case, so it must prove that a person did each of those things beyond a reasonable doubt. That is true in every criminal case, so there is no difference between the two.
Robbery trials are always open to the public if the defendant is an adult. There is a constitutional right to a public trial in our judicial system. The public has a right to know what happened in court and what evidence was presented against a person. That is part of the foundation of our government.
Important Information to Remember for the Court Date
Before a person appears for their first court date, they should familiarize themselves with the courthouse, where it is, where to park, things of that nature. They should develop a plan to make sure they are on time, because being late to the courtroom sets a bad tone for their case and their relationship with the judge.
It is important that a defendant knows that their lawyer is going to discuss with them how they should dress appropriately, what time they should get there, where they should meet their lawyer. Also, of course, whatever strategy or preparation needs to take place prior to the trial date.
When Cases Can be Resolved Before the First Arlington Court Date
The first court date is an arraignment, a non-adversarial proceeding, not even involving a Commonwealth attorney, so the case is highly unlikely to be resolved on the first court date. They are merely advised of rights are under Virginia law. The next date of consequence is usually what is called a preliminary hearing, which is an opportunity in District Court for a judge to evaluate the merits of the case and determine whether there is probable cause to go forward. It is also an opportunity to negotiate with the government to reach a resolution. Many cases are resolved at the preliminary hearing level. If an individual wants to learn more about Arlington robbery trials, they should speak with a skilled robbery lawyer that could answer their questions and start building their defense.