The most common ways that robbery offenses are charged are in instances of what many people call mugging or a hold-up, in which a gun is presented and somebody is told to give up their wallet or their cash. Slight variations in Mecklenburg County robbery charges also exist, however, including attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. If you are facing any allegations of forcible theft, consider reaching out to an attorney for assistance.
An attempt to commit robbery means that someone took steps to try to complete a robbery, but the robbery itself was not successful. For instance, if someone held a gun in another person’s face to mug them and that victim ran away instead, that would be an attempted robbery. An attempted robbery is punished much less severely than the robbery itself, although it could still carry up to 10 years in prison.
A conspiracy to commit robbery is an agreement between the perpetrator of the robbery and at least one other person. Once there is an agreement to commit a crime, then a conspiracy has occurred. In a conspiracy case, both people who conspired to do the act could be charged with the full consequences of the robbery, meaning that even if somebody did not commit the robbery, they could still face life in prison.
Occasionally, prosecutors use additional crimes such as an attempt to conspire to create negotiating room for a regular robber charge. For example, they may offer to reduce a charge to attempt or conspiracy rather than robbery. Conversely, prosecutors may increase the pressure for the defendant to accept a plea agreement by threatening additional attempt or conspiracy charges on top of a robbery charge. An attorney could help negotiate with prosecutors to reduce Mecklenburg County robbery charges and help a defendant avoid multiple convictions.
An indictment is a charging document produced by a grand jury. The grand jury is provided information by law enforcement and the prosecutor, and in that context, they decide whether probable cause has been established to bring charges. When a grand jury indicts somebody, that simply means they have been charged with the crime.
If a person is indicted before being arrested that is known as a direct indictment. That means the prosecutor and law enforcement have taken the case directly to a grand jury rather than trying to get a warrant issued by a magistrate. If a defendant has been indicted by a grand jury, and no prior proceedings have occurred in the case, that means it is their initial charge and the person will be arrested only after the indictment has been returned.
In most robbery cases, defendants are arrested on a warrant and indicted later as the case proceeds to trial. That is because in a case as serious as robbery, law enforcement usually conducts an investigation closer in time to the alleged event of the robbery. If a case has been dormant for some time, it is possible the case will be brought to the grand jury first.
Perhaps the most important first step to take when a person learns they face robbery charges, is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. When they speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience in robbery cases, they can be advised on how best to protect their constitutional rights and the attorney can begin preparing a strategy of defense against the allegations. If you are facing Mecklenburg County robbery charges, contact an experienced lawyer right away.