Colonial Heights Armed Robbery Penalties

When someone uses firearms to commit any crime, the major consequence is going to be mandatory jail time that cannot be suspended. Certain criminal matters are given suspended sentences by the judge who may find the person guilty but refrains from putting them in jail for one reason or another. When a charge carries mandatory time, it cannot be suspended. One kind of armed robbery and one kind of use of a firearm equals life plus three years.

If you have been charged with armed robbery in Colonial Heights, you may be looking at a possible mandatory jail sentence. Contact a seasoned defense attorney for help with building a defense or for more information about the severity of Colonial Heights armed robbery penalties.

Difference Between Robbery and Armed Robbery

Colonial Heights armed robbery penalties can vary. A person can walk away from a regular robbery charge with no jail time. But if a person is convicted of armed robbery and the use of a firearm, they may be doing a mandatory three years in jail. Normally if a person faces a felony offense, there is no mandatory time. Misdemeanors are half the time. Felonies can range from 75 days and up.

Types of Evidence

When facing Colonial Heights armed robbery penalties, with the help of an attorney, a person charged should:

  • Review testimonial statements from those involved in the offense, or any audio/video recordings of their statements
  • Review any audio and/or video evidence
  • Ascertain what items have been allegedly stolen, if they have been recovered, or if they were found elsewhere
  • If the firearm was real and/or operable

Burden of Proof on the Prosecution in a Robbery Charged

The prosecution must be able to prove that there was some sort of taking. The taking must have been done by the use of threat, force, or intimidation, and the fact that the taking was done by the individual who they said they did not take it. With the additional use of a firearm, the prosecution must prove that the robbery was done with the use of some kind of firearm, e.g., shotgun, pistol, handgun, bazooka, et cetera.

The use of a firearm is not from the perspective of the robber or the accused, but from the perspective of the alleged victim. If the alleged victim reasonably believed that there was a firearm being used in the commission of the felony, then that is enough for the Commonwealth to prove the person guilty of use of a firearm. Even if a person tries to put their finger in their pocket and point it at somebody pretending it is a pistol, from the perspective of the victim, they believed it was a pistol. That can lead to a use of firearm charge, even though they never had any firearm.

Preparing for an Armed Robbery Defense in Colonial Heights

The first thing a criminal defense lawyer may want to do when preparing a defense for armed robbery is to determine who, what, when, where, and how. The defense may look into the nature of the firearm used. If there is no actual firearm but the robbery was conducted in a way that the alleged victim was made to believe there was a firearm, they may want to build on that. By working with an attorney, a person could effectively work towards avoiding Colonial Heights armed robbery penalties.