Robbery is considered a violent crime and is a serious felony in Virginia. Robbery convictions require mandatory sentences, which often lead to extensive prison time. Furthermore, a robbery conviction requires that the Defendant must serve a portion of their sentence behind bars – no exceptions. Virginia is a no-parole state.
What is robbery? Robbery is defined as taking the property from another by the use of threats or force, even if the use of force is slight. It is considered robbery as long as the intimidation or violence was enough to force the victim to hand over his or her property. Robbery is a form of theft, however, robbery is considerably more serious than a general theft offense because of the threat of harm (actual or perceived) to the property owner.
What are the possible penalties? The punishment for a robbery conviction is as serious as that of a homicide or rape: 5 years to a maximum of life in prison. Robbery sentences can vary greatly, depending on a variety of aggravating and mitigating factors.
First Degree Robbery
This offense occurs when a person uses violence against the victim or threatens deadly force using a weapon. Typically, a first degree robbery involves a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Second Degree Robbery
This offense occurs when a person places the victim in fear of harm or bodily injury by using a drug, electronic shock, or other tactics to disable the victim. Typically, a second degree robbery involves a sentence of 5-18 years in prison.
If you are convicted of robbery for the first time, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years. A second or subsequent robbery conviction results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.
Virginia’s “Three Strikes Law”
Any criminal previously convicted of two separate violent crimes will automatically be sentenced to life in prison for the third conviction of any violent crime.
Carjacking as a Robbery offense – Carjacking is a unique robbery offense because it presumes a violent confrontation between the robber and the owner of the vehicle. Carjacking can only be charged when the owner is inside the vehicle and behind the wheel. Although you can be sentenced to life in prison, a carjacking conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Why should I consult an attorney? Robbery and carjacking are serious offenses, which carry extremely severe consequences, including mandatory minimum jail time and hefty fines. For these reasons, it is important that you take these charges seriously and contact The Paracha Firm as soon as possible.
If you have been charged with Robbery or Carjacking, contact The Paracha Firm now for a no-fee consultation.