Occoquan Robbery Lawyer
When people in Culpeper talk about robbery, they are often referring to any type of stealing or even a general sense of injustice. But under state criminal law, robbery has a very specific meaning and it is penalized more harshly than other criminal acts of theft. Robbery is considered a violent offense, even if no one is harmed as a result. Because of this, those accused of this act should take the charges seriously.
If you were charged with robbery, an Occoquan robbery lawyer could work to build a strong defensive strategy to fight the charges and protect your rights. Dedicated theft lawyers know how important it is to protect the rights of the accused and to explore all available options for a defense to help reach the optimum outcome under the circumstances.
Penalties for Robbery
Combining the elements of a serious theft crime with a violent crime, robbery carries the potential for very severe penalties. Under Virginia Code Annotated §18.2-58, judges may sentence those convicted of robbery to a life sentence in a state correctional facility.
Moreover, the statute imposes a minimum sentence of five years of imprisonment for anyone convicted of this offense. While the codes of some jurisdictions include an aggravated form of robbery known as armed robbery with more severe penalties, Virginia includes all robbery offenses under the same statute with the same potential penalty.
How Robbery Differs from Other Theft Crimes
While robbery falls under the umbrella of theft, there are numerous forms of this criminal act that warrant differing levels of punishments and, as a result, defenses. These include basic theft, theft involving bodily contact, theft with the potential for violence, and statutory robbery.
The most basic form of theft treated under state law is larceny. The elements of this offense are not defined by statute, but under common law: larceny occurs when someone wrongfully takes the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the use or ownership of the property. The severity of the penalty for larceny depends on the value of the property taken.
Theft Involving Bodily Contact
Larceny is penalized more severely when the property is taken directly from the body of another person, such as when a pickpocket removes someone’s wallet from off of their person; this is referred to as larceny from the person. For instance, if someone wrongfully takes a hundred dollar bill from the dresser of another person, that crime is considered the misdemeanor offense of petit larceny. But if that same person wrongfully takes a ten dollar bill from the pocket of another person, the offense is treated as grand larceny, with potential penalties that are much higher.
Theft with the Potential for Violence
Making contact with another person increases the penalty for larceny as well, and the offense is considered even more serious when violence or even the threat of violence is involved. Because robbery is a theft involving violence or the threat of violence, it is treated as an extremely serious offense.
Va. Code Ann. §18.2-58 not only describes the penalties for robbery but also provides a partial definition of the offense. A person violates the statute if they “commit robbery” by
- Beating or striking
- Partial suffocation or strangulation
- Other violence to the body
- Putting a person in fear of serious bodily injury
- Showing or threatening the use of a firearm or other deadly weapon
Under common law, someone commits robbery when they unlawfully take property from another person by force or threat of force. Essentially, unlawfully taking property from another by one of the means listed above would be considered robbery—because each of those means involves the use or threat of force. For more information about this charge, reach out to a dedicated Occoquan theft lawyer.
Retain an Occoquan Robbery Attorney for Help
With the potential for a life sentence in prison, robbery is clearly one of the most serious crimes that can be charged in Culpeper. Anyone accused of this offense is advised to consult a dedicated Occoquan robbery lawyer as soon as possible.
Evidence that may be used to build a strong defense against the charges is best collected soon after the alleged event. When you work with a skilled defense lawyer, your legal advisor could begin collecting and preserving evidence right away to help protect your rights. To learn more, call now for a consultation.