If an alleged forcible theft has you facing felony criminal charges for robbery, the representation an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide is invaluable. By contacting a Prince William County robbery lawyer, you can get the legal defense you need to fight your case. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation and secure quality legal counsel to challenge the prosecution on your behalf.
The Virginia Criminal Code classifies theft as a crime against property and discusses this offense in the fifth chapter. By definition, theft is the act of taking something that rightfully belongs to another person. If the theft involves cash or valuables worth less than $200, and the crime does not involve any sort of forcible entry, violence, or assault, the crime is a misdemeanor offense. If the stolen property is worth more than $200, however, the offense is considered a felony.
If physical force, violence, assault, or a deadly weapon is utilized in order to steal the item(s) of value, the offense is classified as a robbery, rather than mere theft. Because of the more violent nature of a robbery, it is actually considered a crime against the person, addressed in Chapter 4 of the code, along with other violent crimes which inflict damage, fear, or offense to another person. Robbery, therefore, is classified as a felony offense and is punished far more severely than mere theft. For information on crimes in Prince William County other than theft and robbery, click here.
Prince William County Robbery Lawyers Handle These Cases
The criminal charges for taking another’s rightful property can vary from misdemeanors to felonies, depending upon the scenario in which the theft takes place. There are many types of theft, among which are:
- Petit Larceny (theft of less than $200 in value)
- Grand Larceny (theft of more than $200 in value)
- Auto theft
- Credit card fraud
In cases which involve theft coupled with violence, the crime is considered more severe and the associated consequences are more severe, as well. Such cases may involve physical assault, threat with the ability to cause harm, intimidation, or the use of a deadly bladed weapon or firearm. These forms or theft are considered robbery which is classified in the criminal code along with assault and battery, homicide, and rape as a violent crime.
Whether you are facing charges for petty theft, carjacking, armed robbery, or something in between, the skills of an experienced Prince William robbery lawyer are invaluable. Experience in a variety of theft and robbery cases gives your attorney the necessary tools to properly evaluate your case and develop the most effective defense to provide you with the best outcome possible under the circumstances of your case.
Virginia’s Laws Regarding Robbery
A charge for robbery, in the Commonwealth, is classified as a violent crime and can result in penalties ranging from fines to life imprisonment. In the Virginia Criminal Code, under Section 18.2-58, the law dictates that:
“If any person commit robbery by partial strangulation, or suffocation, or by striking or beating, or by other violence to the person, or by assault or otherwise putting a person in fear of serious bodily harm, or by the threat or presenting of firearms, or other deadly weapon or instrumentality whatsoever, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in a state correctional facility for life or any term not less than five years.”
Once an act of violence or force is used in a case of theft, even if there was initially no intent to inflict harm, a case of larceny becomes a more serious case of robbery. For example, a case of simple purse-snatching may be charged as robbery if a struggle develops and the victim is assaulted, threatened, shown a deadly weapon, or even pushed.
Carjacking is one class of robbery in which the use of a deadly weapon is often utilized in the act of a theft. Defined in the criminal code, this crime involves “the intentional seizure or seizure of control of a motor vehicle of another with intent to permanently or temporarily deprive another in possession or control of the vehicle of that possession or control by means of partial strangulation, or suffocation, or by striking or beating, or by other violence to the person….” In common terms, this means that a vehicle owner or operator is threatened with violence or assaulted in order to cause him or her to surrender his vehicle to the perpetrator. A carjacking conviction, because of its violent nature, is punishable with the possibility of life imprisonment and no less than 15 years in prison.
How a Prince William Robbery Lawyer Can Help
In 2011, the Virginia State Police reported a property loss in excess of $50 million due to theft, including nearly 5,500 cases of reported robberies. Approximately 8,000 offenders were involved in the reported robberies, the vast majority of whom were males under the age of 36.
If you are facing charges for a crime ranging from theft to robbery or anything in between, you should contact a Prince William County robbery lawyer to schedule a free consultation. Steve Duckett can evaluate the specific details of your case, including the procedures involved in the arrest and investigation to determine the best defense for your legal battle. Place a call to his office today and learn how he can help you minimize the impact of the charges you face.