Defending yourself against robbery charges under 18.2-58 in Fairfax, Virginia, can be a challenging and stressful experience. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding the charges, the legalities, potential defense strategies, and the importance of hiring an experienced attorney. By the end, you should have a better understanding of how to navigate this complicated process.
Robbery is a serious criminal offense that involves taking property from another person by using violence, intimidation, or threat. It is considered a violent crime because it puts the victim in fear of physical harm.
Robbery Charges in Virginia
In Virginia, robbery is a felony offense. This means that if you are convicted, you could face significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record. In particular, Section 18.2-58 of the Virginia Code outlines the crime and penalties for robbery.
Code Section 18.2-58
Virginia Code Section 18.2-58 breaks robbery down into various categories depending on the facts of the case.
- A robbery that results in serious bodily injury is a class 2 felony punishable by up to life imprisonment
- A robbery committed by using or displaying a firearm in a threatening manner is a class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison
- A robbery committed using physical force but NOT resulting in an injury or a robbery committed by using a weapon other than a firearm is a class 5 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- A robbery committed using threats or intimidation or any other means except a deadly weapon is a class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Elements of the Crime
To convict someone of robbery in Virginia, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that :
- The defendant intended to steal
- The defendant took personal property
- The taking was from another person or in his presence
- The taking was against the will of the owner or possessor
- The taking was accomplished by violence to the person, intimidation, threat of serious bodily harm, the threat or presenting of a firearm, or the threat or presenting of a deadly weapon.
Common Defense Strategies
When facing robbery charges, there are several defense strategies that may be employed by your attorney to help secure a favorable outcome. These can include:
Insufficient Evidence: If the prosecution cannot provide enough evidence to prove the robbery, the charges may be dismissed or reduced.
Mistaken Identity: If the defendant can prove that they were not the person who committed the crime, they may avoid conviction.
Force, Threats, or Intimidation were not used: If the defendant does not believe they used force, threats, or intimidation, then the case is not a robbery. A pickpocket, for example, is not a robber under the law. It's a separate statute with less serious punishments.
Differences from Adult Cases
When a person under 18 is charged with robbery, the case is typically handled in the juvenile justice system. This system focuses more on rehabilitation and education rather than punishment. As a result, the potential penalties and long-term consequences are generally less severe for juvenile offenders compared to adults.
If a juvenile is found guilty of robbery, they may be placed in a juvenile detention center or be subjected to other court-ordered programs. These programs can include community service, counseling, and probation. The goal of these programs is to help the juvenile offender learn from their mistakes and avoid further criminal behavior.
Impact on Future
A robbery conviction can have long-lasting effects on a person's life, especially if they are a juvenile. The conviction may affect future job opportunities, housing, and educational prospects. It may also result in a loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote or possess a firearm.
Hiring a Lawyer
Importance of Legal Representation
If you or a loved one is facing robbery charges under 18.2-58 in Fairfax, Virginia, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help protect your rights, evaluate the strength of the evidence against you, and develop a strong defense strategy. In many cases, a skilled attorney can negotiate a plea bargain, reducing the charges or the potential sentence.
Finding the Right Attorney
When looking for a criminal defense attorney, it is essential to find someone with experience defending robbery cases. R. Tyler Bezilla is a former prosecutor and seasoned criminal defense attorney who has gone to court for hundreds of violent crimes including Robbery. He has a proven track record of success in court. He is well respected by the legal community and a skilled communicator. He is the type of lawyer you should rely one when facing serious charges such as Robbery.
Defending robbery charges under 18.2-58 in Fairfax, Virginia, can be a complex and daunting process. Understanding the legal elements of the crime, potential defense strategies, and the importance of hiring an experienced attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Remember, the right legal representation can make all the difference in securing a favorable outcome.
What is the difference between robbery and theft?
Robbery involves the use of force, violence, or intimidation to take property from another person, while theft typically involves taking someone's property without their consent and without the use of force.
Is there a difference between armed robbery and unarmed robbery in Virginia?
Yes, armed robbery involves the use of a weapon during the commission of the crime and carries more severe penalties than unarmed robbery.
Can I be charged with robbery even if I didn't physically harm anyone?
Yes, robbery charges can be brought against you even if you didn't physically harm anyone, as long as you used violence, threats, or intimidation to take someone's property.
What should I do if I am falsely accused of robbery?
If you are falsely accused of robbery, it is crucial to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. They can help protect your rights, gather evidence, and build a strong defense to prove your innocence.
How can a criminal defense attorney help me with my robbery case?
A criminal defense attorney can help you by evaluating the evidence against you, developing a strong defense strategy, negotiating with the prosecution, and representing you in court. Their expertise and experience can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
In addition to facing criminal charges for robbery, you may also be subject to civil lawsuits filed by the victim. This means that the victim can sue you for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress caused by the robbery. Hiring a skilled attorney can help you navigate both the criminal and civil aspects of your case.
If you are found guilty of robbery, the court may order you to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution is a form of compensation for the victim's losses, such as the value of the stolen property or any expenses incurred as a result of the crime.
If you are found guilty of robbery, you have the right to appeal the conviction. An appeal is a legal process in which a higher court reviews the decision of the lower court to determine if any legal errors occurred during the trial. An experienced attorney can help you determine if an appeal is warranted and represent you throughout the appellate process.