Fairfax County Robbery Attorney
Robbery is a violent crime that is taken very seriously in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The penalties for robbery often include mandatory time in state prison and other severe consequences. For this reason, if you have been arrested for or charged with robbery in the Fairfax area, your first step should be to contact an experienced Fairfax robbery lawyer as soon as possible. Our Fairfax criminal defense team has years of experience handling serious criminal cases.
What is Robbery in Fairfax, Virginia?
Like any other criminal offense, a prosecutor must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of robbery. Robbery combines elements of the offenses of both assault and larceny (or “theft”). Your Fairfax robbery lawyer will tell your side of the story and cast reasonable doubt on the elements the prosecutors are trying to prove. The elements of robbery under Virginia law include the following:
- The offender’s intent to steal the personal property belonging to another person
- The owner of the property is present at the time of the theft
- The taking is against the will of the property owner
- The offender uses violence or threats of harm or intimidation during the theft.
Virginia law sets out specific acts that an offender must carry out in order to obtain money or property without the owner’s permission. These acts include:
- Striking or beating
- Partial strangulation
- Using any other type of violence
- Putting the victim in fear of serious bodily harm
- Threatening to use a firearm or deadly weapon
- Presenting a firearm or deadly weapon
Note that you do not actually have to harm the victim in order to be charged with robbery, since fear or intimidation tactics are enough to satisfy the elements of this offense. However, gestures can be misinterpreted, and allegations brought against you. A Fairfax robbery lawyer will work to make the court understand your side of the story.
If the property in question in a robbery is a motor vehicle, you will be charged with the separate criminal offense known in Virginia as “carjacking.” Carjacking may be charged whether you meant to deprive the possessor of the motor vehicle permanently or temporarily.
Penalties for Robbery Charges
The penalties you face if you have been charged with some type of robbery offense depend on the particular charge and details of the case. The following are examples of prison sentences set out by Virginia criminal laws:
As you can see, Virginia laws take the offense of robbery extremely seriously and, if you are convicted of robbery, you risk spending the rest of your life behind bars.
Three Strikes Law and Robbery
The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of many states with a “Three Strikes Law,” meaning that your prison sentence will be significantly increased if you receive three convictions for certain crimes. Most of these crimes are violent felonies and robbery is included in the law. Under the Three Strikes rule (Section 19.2-297.1), if you are convicted of robbery or carjacking and already have two convictions on your record for violent crimes, you may be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
If you are being prosecuted under the Three Strikes rule, you should always consult an attorney who has experience defending violent offenders with previous “strikes” on their records.
Contact a Fairfax Robbery Defense Lawyer for Assistance
If you are facing any type of robbery charge, you do not want to risk wrongful conviction and a potential life sentence by choosing an inexperienced attorney. An experienced robbery attorney will know how to investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the alleged crime in order to build an aggressive case in your defense. Furthermore, an experienced robbery lawyer in Fairfax will know how to negotiate with prosecutors and protect your rights in court.
If you have been arrested or charged with robbery, carjacking, or any other type of criminal offense, do not hesitate to call a qualified Fairfax robbery lawyer with experience in Fairfax County Courts at our firm for a free consultation.