Virginia Armed Robbery Penalties
All robbery is punished as a felony, and a felony conviction stays on a person’s record forever. The punishment is a mandatory five years in jail and up to life in prison. If a defendant is able to bring a seasoned robbery attorney very early on in the case as soon as they know the charges, there is a very good likelihood that an attorney is going to be able to gather evidence, witnesses, and expert witnesses that can be subpoenaed. It is very likely that an attorney will be able to put all of these together quicker than a Commonwealth attorney. An attorney can explain the case to the person and expect possible Virginia armed robbery penalties.
Consequences of Armed Robbery
Virginia only has the one statute, 18.2-58, and the punishment that is spelled out in the statute is a minimum of five years in prison up to life in prison. If a judge hears the case in a bench trial, then a judge has the authority to suspend some time and they also have authority to combine a jail sentence with a fine. However, a jury hearing the case does not have that authority, so they will have to stick by what the statute says They would recommend the jail sentence, having to stick to a minimum of five years. Robbery cases start off in the general district court, which only has authority to conduct a preliminary probable cause hearing to determine if there is probable cause to charge that defendant. Then the case goes up to circuit court for a trial, whether that be a jury or a bench trial by a judge. If there is a plea, it will be in the circuit as well. If a plea is reached downstairs in general district court, then the preliminary hearing is waived and a plea hearing or a sentencing hearing would be scheduled in circuit court.
A prosecutor would have to prove the elements of robbery which include the taking of property from another person with the threat of force or the threat of force, including strangulation, beating, suffocation, putting somebody in imminent danger of bodily harm, etc. That is what the Commonwealth’s attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.They would have to prove that a taking of property took place from a person (not from a dwelling or a store or any type of establishment). It has to be done with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, and it has to be done with a threat of force or force itself. Any use of a firearm and any threat to use a firearm or a weapon would be something that the Commonwealth’s attorney has to prove.
Role of a Defense Attorney
If a person finds an attorney who has handled a lot of robbery cases in the past and is able to predict what is going to happen with them, that would be something that the defendant can use to their favor more than a Commonwealth attorney. This is because defense attorneys have a narrow focus on maybe a certain number of cases that they take versus Commonwealth attorneys who deal with all kinds of charges, all kinds of levels of court maybe are not as razor-focused. A person should be prepared to build a defense against Virginia armed robbery penalties. A defense attorney will be able to use all of those things to the advantage of the defendant and will be able to argue persuasively on their behalf.