Because robbery is considered a violent offense, Virginia maintains strict penalties for these type of thefts. Therefore, if you have been accused of robbery, you will need an experienced Arlington robbery lawyer by your side as soon as you learn of the charges against you. Your robbery lawyer in Arlington can advise you regarding your interactions with police and make sure you do not say or do anything inadvertently that could harm your defense.
Even if you have already been questioned, your Arlington robbery attorney can determine whether your rights were protected during any interrogation. You have the right to have an Arlington attorney with you from the very beginning of the legal and investigative process, and availing yourself of that right is the most important step you can take in ensuring you are treated fairly.
If you have been accused of a robbery offense in Virginia, you are not alone. There were 4,555 reported robbery offenses (pdf) in Virginia in 2013, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Section of the Virginia Department of State Police. Not all of these reported robberies resulted in robbery convictions, however. This is one reason why it is so important that you immediately consult an experienced Arlington robbery lawyer who can establish a strong defense on your behalf.
Under Virginia Code 18.2-58, robbery is defined as theft using violence, or threat of violence. Robbery does not necessarily involve a deadly weapon – choking, strangling, striking, suffocating, beating and other such acts constitute the violence required for a theft offense to be considered a robbery. Assaulting a victim by threatening violence or causing the fear of violence would also raise a theft offense to the level of robbery, as would using or threatening to use a firearm, knife or another deadly weapon in the commission of the theft.
If your Arlington robbery lawyer can establish that you did not act violently and did not make threats to reasonably cause the alleged victim to fear imminent bodily harm, the charges against you may be reduced.
Robbery is a felony punishable by five years to life in prison. Carjacking – a more serious robbery offense involving theft of a vehicle directly from a driver by use of violence or threat of violence – carries a stricter penalty of a minimum 15 years in prison. Attempted robbery and attempted carjacking are considered Class 4 felonies punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 making it important that you contact an Arlington robbery lawyer as soon as you are accused.
Our Arlington robbery lawyers understand that many people are unfairly accused of crimes like robbery. Your robbery attorney in Arlington will work hard to examine the evidence against you, identify the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and determine whether your conduct actually fulfilled the required elements for the offense you are accused of. While the outcome of your case can never be guaranteed, just knowing that an experienced Arlington robbery lawyer is in your corner fighting for you can give you some measure of peace of mind during this difficult time in your life