Armed robbery is a felony offense. In the case of a conviction, a person is likely going to face time in prison, especially where there is a weapon involved. Depending on the details, the result is going to be at least five years in state prison. If you or a loved one are facing charges, a local lawyer can walk you through the potential Virginia armed robbery penalties and build a defense.
The robbery statute by itself lists out ways that somebody can use force or the threat of force to put somebody in fear while they are taking something from them. Because of this, the robbery charge has a separate clause in it that takes into account the presence of firearms or another deadly weapon.
Therefore, for armed robbery purposes, the prosecutor must prove not only the elements of the statute, but also the presence of a deadly weapon. If the prosecution is successful in its endeavor, the Virginia armed robbery penalties will increase substantially.
As for the harshest possible penalty, it is life in prison. The only way it could be greater is if somebody dies during the incident and the defendant is also charged with murder.
There is no separate statute in the state of Virginia for armed robbery. When it comes to Virginia armed robbery penalties, the defendant is going to be charged under the robbery statute and then there will be the heightened element for sentencing purposes.
The weapon does not necessarily have to be that significant, although if it were a deadly weapon, certainly, the person would be facing a much greater sentence.
For example, if the person is committing robbery with a firearm, then they could be also charged with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. That would make it more serious because the person can potentially pick up a separate charge.
Anyone charged with armed robbery is potentially facing a mandatory minimum of five years in state prison. Because of the severity of the Virginia armed robbery penalties, it therefore does not make sense for someone who has been accused of such an offense to proceed without an attorney.
If they do not have an attorney, then the chances are the prosecution and the court will find the accused guilty and sentence them to imprisonment. Given that the best case scenario, in the case of a conviction, is five years of imprisonment, it is extremely important to work with a lawyer who will be able to apply their years of experience, observation, and practice to reduce the charges and ultimately the sentencing in the case.
If the person has an attorney, they might be able to enter an agreement with the prosecutor and get it negotiated down to something that does not have a mandatory minimum. Alternatively, they may take the case to trial and win. If the person goes by themselves, the chances of either of those outcomes becoming a reality are virtually non-existent.