Armed robbery is a violent criminal offense that carries substantial prison time. Robbery connotes a violent crime as it is the taking of someone else’s property by force and against their will, or by the threat of physical force or intimidation. The value of any item taken as a result is inconsequential and is not an element that helps defines the crime.
Being armed implies the use of a deadly weapon although robbery with a firearm may result in a sentence enhancement. In any event, being armed will increase the charge to an aggravated felony.
Anyone charged with this serious offense requires a criminal defense attorney who has successfully handled violent felonies in the past such as defense attorney James Silverstein.
Elements of Armed Robbery
- Forcibly taking the property of another person who is in possession or constructive possession of it by use of a deadly weapon. Constructive possession also applies, meaning that the property taken need not in the immediate possession of the victim. For example, if you force another person into another room by use of a weapon and lock the door before taking the person’s property located in another room, you have committed armed robbery.
- The victim did not consent to the taking of his or her property.
- The defendant had the intent to steal and to permanently retain the property.
- The weapon used must be capable of inflicting serious bodily harm, or the accused must have represented that he or she had a gun or deadly weapon.
Robbery is not committed unless the property taken is either on the victim or in his or her immediate area. If a victim is threatened with a weapon, tied up, and the accused then drives away to steal the items in the victim’s house located miles away, it is not robbery, although it can be aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon.
The victim must have reasonably believed he or she was being placed in fear by use of a weapon or the threat of one. Taking property as a joke or prank should not rise to armed robbery, nor may the taking of property that the accused honestly believes belongs to the accused, but it may be charged as assault with a deadly weapon nonetheless. However, many states do not permit the defense that the accused thought the item belonged to him or her.
Other defenses may be mistaken identity if the defendant wore a mask or could not be positively identified.
Armed robbery in any state will subject you to substantial prison time. If you seriously injure someone, your sentence will be enhanced by several years. Use of a gun could subject you to 20 years or more, or a term of life if you shot someone.
Armed robbery is the most serious theft offense. Your chance of obtaining a favorable outcome could depend on your criminal defense attorney’s experience and knowledge. Contact James Silverstein for a free consultation today.