Manassas Robbery Lawyer
With huge fines and prison time if convicted, robbery charges are some of the most serious types of charges that one can face in Manassas, Virginia. If you have been accused or are being investigated for robbery it is a good idea to seek legal representation from an experienced Manassas robbery lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Robbery?
Robbery is a common law offense that dates back thousands of years. The following impact the penalties:
- Whether a weapon was present and, if so, whether it was used
- Whether the victim was assaulted, and how seriously the victim was wounded
- Whether additional crimes were committed
Although Virginia’s larceny (theft) rules governing value of the goods or money stolen in a robbery or burglary have some bearing on whether the charge is a felony or misdemeanor, they can become secondary to any underlying acts that may accompany the crime.
Manassas Robbery Charges
Robbery is a combination of theft (larceny, “taking any item of value from another person, in their presence” and assault (putting the victim in imminent fear of serious bodily harm) by any of the following means:
- Violence, which can include beating or choking the victim
- Wielding a gun or other deadly weapon that threatens the victim with injury
- Using the weapon to harm the victim
Felony robbery can bring a prison sentence from five years to life [VA Code Section 18.2-58] making it even more important that the accused contact a Manassas robbery lawyer.
The reason for such a wide range of prison time is to allow for other crimes that may have been committed in concert that raise the charge to aggravated robbery (where the victim was harmed, to what degree, and/or a weapon was present. But if the suspect kills the victim during the robbery, life in prison is a sentencing option, as is the death penalty.
Carjacking is its own serious robbery crime because it is already a violent confrontation between the robber and the owner of the vehicle. Carjackers take another person’s vehicle (while the owner is in direct possession of it) by force, often with a weapon.
Those convicted of carjacking, can be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years, and up to life, in prison: [VA Code Section 18.2-58.1(B)]. If the carjacker is charged with other “aggravated” felonies at the time of the offense, such as using a deadly weapon, manslaughter, or murder [VA Code Section 18.2-58.1 (C)], penalties are usually more severe than the minimum prison time. In extreme carjacking crimes where the victim is killed, the death penalty may apply as it becomes a capital offense.
Burglary combines larceny and breaking and entering. It is not normally a confrontational “crime against a person” like a robbery, but the presence of other felonies can make it aggravated burglary and add more years to the original sentence.
It is generally defined as “breaking into a home or business with the intent to steal money or property.” Burglary is a class 3 felony, and those accused should contact a robbery lawyer in Manassas as upon conviction the perpetrator faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 [VA Code Section 18.2-10(c) and (g)]. But like all previous offenses discussed, penalties may be enhanced, depending on any other felony offenses that might accompany a burglary.
Burglary variations (or enhancements) can include:
- An unarmed suspect entering a business or dwelling to commit another felony is charged with statutory burglary [VA Code Section 18.2-90]. The prison term can be from five to 20 years, and a fine can be up to $100,000 [VA Code Section 18.2-10 (c)].
- An armed burglar who intends to commit another felony, such as rape, robbery, arson, or assault, is charged with a class 2 felony [VA Code Sections 18.2-90 and 18.2-91]. Upon conviction, the suspect could face a minimum penalty of 20 years to as much as life in prison, and a maximum fine of $100,000 [VA Code Section 18.2-10 (b)].
- If a suspect is in possession of what are defined as “burglary tools” (such as crowbars, wrenches, or battering rams) with intent to commit burglary or another form of theft, the charge is a class 5 felony [VA Code Section 18.2-94]. The prison sentence is one to 10 years in prison (or a discretionary minimum of 12 months in jail) and/or up to a $2,500 fine).
- If someone breaks into and enters an occupied home in order to commit another misdemeanor, a class 6 felony is charged against an unarmed suspect (up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500). But if the suspect was armed, it becomes a class 2 felony with a sentence of up to 20 years and a possible fine of up to $100,000 [VA Code Sections 18.2-92, 18.2-10 (2)].
Contacting a Manassas Robbery Lawyer
Anyone who is charged with any robbery or burglary crime should immediately seek the advice of a Manassas robbery lawyer in order to build a strong defense against these serious allegations.