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Virginia Robbery Penalties

In Virginia, robbery is one of the most serious types of theft someone can be charged with and therefore carries severe consequences if convicted. A robbery conviction is going remain on a person’s record forever. Like other criminal convictions in Virginia, it can never be expunged and certainly, there is a negative connotation in society associated with the robbery. No one wants to be a victim of violence and robbery is viewed as a crime of violence.

Having a criminal record, a felony and a crime of violence could hinder a person’s ability to apply for certain jobs in the future.  Under these circumstances, there are several benefits to seeking a knowledgeable attorney. A seasoned Virginia robbery lawyer can review any evidence, prepare someone for their trial, explain potential Virginia robbery penalties, and determine the best course of action.

Consequences of Robbery

Robbery is punished by a mandatory term of five years in prison and a judge hearing the case has the right to suspend a part of the sentence as well as to implement a combination of a jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500.00.

Virginia robbery penalties will reflect that a robbery is a felony, not a misdemeanor. A few differences between a robbery and a misdemeanor is that the harshest penalty for a misdemeanor would be up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00. With a felony, a person starts looking at other types of punishment: at least a year in jail, or up to life in prison. The other difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is that a felony stays on a person’s record forever, whereas a misdemeanor stays on a person’s criminal record for 11 years.

Harshest Penalty in Virginia

The statute provides for a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, but there is a possibility of up to life in jail. A person shall be punished by confinement in a state correctional facility for life or any term not less than five years. The statute sets the floor, which is five years, but it could be more than that. Imagining a very serious type of bank robbery scenario, a judge could impose harsher Virginia robbery penalties. If others are injured, or there are any deceased victims, that is a scenario in which a person could be facing life in prison. One of the reasons why this is broad is because in Virginia there is no distinction between something like armed robbery and bank robbery or street robbery.

Elements of a Robbery Charge

Robbery is a combination of larceny and assault. The taking of property from another person using force or threat of force. To break those into elements, one is the taking, secondly from a person, thirdly by use of force or by the threat of force, and then further down depending on the type of the case, the prosecution is going to have to prove what kind of force was used.

The prosecution will have to prove each one of those elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, the taking has to be done with the intent to permanently deprive a person of that property. It is not enough for the prosecution to show that somebody took property temporarily or with the intention to borrow it; it has to be a taking that is done with the intent to permanently convert that property.

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