Because Alexandria is such a small, tight-knit community, violent offenses are one of the things that the prosecutors come on down on most harshly. The goal is to keep Alexandria a safe tight-knit community and to protect individuals living there which is why robbery is treated much more harshly than other offenses. With that said, anyone accused of robbery should consult with an Alexandria robbery lawyer to mitigate the damage as much as possible and ensure a strong defense is built on their behalf.
Robbery is certainly a more severe crime than simple theft, because robbery includes the element of violence. Robbery is, by its nature, going to attract more law enforcement if it has the element of violence, and there is worry that the victim is going to actually be injured, and in some cases is actually injured, which can be very traumatic. Because of that, and because people are hurt more seriously, it is certainly a much more serious offense than the typical theft offense where something is taken, but there is no violence.
If somebody is charged with theft, that person should still consider hiring a criminal defense attorney because, depending on the amount one is accused of stealing, it could certainly be a felony, which would include time in prison, a much larger fine, and much more severe consequences—both socially and practically—in Virginia than simply a misdemeanor offense.
No matter whether one is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony theft offense, there is a social stigma that is going to be problematic. Employers will see that someone has a theft conviction on his or her record and they will be less likely to trust that person. Having an attorney to combat things is always a good idea whether one is charged with felony theft, robbery, or even simply just a misdemeanor offense, because anyone can still face time in jail even if they are charged with a misdemeanor, and it will stay on one’s record for life.
An individual charged with robbery should hire an attorney in Alexandria because the consequences of a conviction are simply so devastating to a person’s life. Somebody who is convicted of robbery will face time in prison—any time from five years to life—and if this were in front of a jury, a jury would not even be able to suspend any of that time. By the mandatory minimum someone would be facing five actual years in prison.
In Virginia, there is no parole for conviction. In other states, if one is convicted of a felony, someone has the opportunity for parole to perhaps get out earlier. In Virginia, that is not the case. If one is convicted of a robbery and gets the minimum, which is five years in front of a jury, that individual will be serving five years. It is not something where there is the chance of getting out early due to good behavior. The stakes are simply too high to decide not to hire a criminal defense attorney for a robbery charge in Alexandria.