Virginia Robbery Penalties
A person found guilty of a robbery in Virginia will likely be sentenced from five years to life in prison based on the statute. In order to prove a robbery in Virginia, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intentionally took, threatened to take, or attempted to take an item of value from another person by the use of force. An experienced robbery defense attorney can help with robbery charges in Virginia so you can avoid a lengthy sentence. Virginia robbery penalties are taken very seriously and it is important to act against them quickly.
Penalties for Felony Offenses
Robbery is always a felony offense. If a person is convicted of a felony, they will suffer severe penalties, like serving time in prison. When they get out of prison, they will have no civil liberties, will not be able to vote or serve on a jury, and they will not be able to possess firearms for the rest of their life. Additionally, having a felony conviction for a violent crime such as robbery will make it extremely difficult to find meaningful employment in the future.
Investigating Cases for Mitigation
The first thing to do following a robbery arrest in Virginia is to figure out what the government’s evidence is. There are two critical things to look at. First, the correct identity of the person who committed the robbery has to be discovered and proven. Robbery cases are often investigated fully before a person is placed under arrest. It is unusual for a person to be caught in the act. Whether or not the police have correctly identified the right perpetrator is important in reducing Virginia robbery penalties.
The second thing to consider is whether or not the defendant has made any statements to the police. If those statements are damaging, it is decided whether or not those statements might be able to be thrown out pursuant to any constitutional violation such as a Fifth Amendment violation or a Sixth Amendment violation and pursuant to the lack of advice and the rights under the Miranda rules.
Negotiation to a Theft Charge
An experienced Virginia theft lawyer knows what kind of tactics the prosecution may use when prosecuting a robbery charge. It allows the defense to stay one step ahead of the prosecution as they prepare for a trial.
Negotiating a robbery charge down to a theft charge depends on the facts as the government knows them. If the government feels the case is strong in their favor, then it is going to be a challenge to get a charge robbery dropped down to a theft charge. Robbery charges in Virginia, because they are crimes of violence, are taken very seriously. However, if the government feels some risk of litigating the case, for example, perhaps the identifying witness is not confident in his identification of the defendant, or perhaps there is forensic evidence that contradicts what the government witness says, then a plea deal dropping the charge down to a non-violent crime of theft might be possible in a Virginia robbery case.
Considering Plea Deals
Every case is different, so it is hard to say exactly what circumstances might lead to a plea deal for Virginia robbery penalties. Going to trial with a jury for a charge of robbery, particularly when the facts seem to line up squarely against the charged person, is generally not a good idea. Juries in Virginia recommend a sentence to the court, and the court almost always follows the jury’s recommendation upon conviction.
A jury only knows the minimum sentence is five years. Upon sentencing a person who pleads guilty and has taken responsibility for their crime, the jury might suspend some of the five years. If the evidence looks like it is going to end with a guilty verdict, the charged person might be well served by entering a guilty plea. If the person pleads guilty, it may result in a lesser sentence than the sentence a jury might determine if they went to trial and found the person guilty. A Virginia robbery penalty can be reduced by plea deals.
Contacting a Robbery Lawyer
Virginia takes even a theft charge seriously because it is a crime of moral turpitude, which means that it is a crime involving truth or honesty or the lack thereof. If any conviction of a theft-related charge in Virginia makes life more difficult for a person, than robbery will be even worse. An experienced lawyer is necessary for a Virginia robbery charge.
A person should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as they realize that they are being suspected of a robbery charge to help them through the process immediately. The person should supply an attorney with all information that they have to ensure a proper robbery case. The most important element of any attorney-client relationship is communication.
If a person is charged or convicted of robbery in Virginia, the person could potentially be in prison for the rest of their natural life without the possibility of parole, so it is in the best interest of the client to keep the Virginia robbery lawyer informed. Avoid Virginia robbery penalties by calling an attorney as soon as possible.