According to Robbery (Va. Code §18.2-58) Law, whenever force is involved in any sort of theft offenses, it is considered ‘Robbery’. So, in essence, Robbery is an offense that combines elements of both theft and violence. Larceny differs from what all Robbery entails. So, for instance, stealing someone’s wallet without them knowing at the time of the crime, is an offense covered under the Larceny Law. If, however, while snatching the wallet, the victim was pushed or threatened with a weapon, the crime has then become Robbery. Given that robbery counts as a serious felony in the Robbery Laws for Virginia, the laws and procedures must fully be understood, to deal with circumstances such as this. The Virginia Law states robbery as having been categorized into First Degree Robbery and Second Degree Robbery. Charges under each category differ and below we shall identify a few factors how so.
First Degree Robbery
This category entails the use of a weapon of some sort against the victim. Here, the perpetrator surpasses the realm of intimidation and uses the weapon to inflict violence against the victim, at the scene of the robbery. This category entails actually using the weapon, in addition to intimidating the victim and using it to set harm to him/ her during the crime scene. Any sort of bodily injury to the victim will automatically convert the Robbery into a First Degree offense. This type of a situation can lead to more serious first-degree robbery charges i.e. facing a sentence of 10 years in prison.
Second Degree Robbery
This category, also commonly known as Class B felony, is where the victim may be intimidated by a bodily injury or knocked off, in order for the perpetrator to commit the crime and escape. So, for instance, use of drugs, electric shock or any other similar weapon to temporary disable the victim can land the criminal in Second Degree Robbery charges. A conviction of Second Degree Robbery can get you a minimum 5 years and maximum 18 years of imprisonment.
For every first robbery conviction, a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years is applicable. On every subsequent conviction, the mandatory minimum sentence will be up to 5 years in prison. Since robbery entails stealing any and all sorts of assets and belongings, charges tend to differ for the value of the item (asset or belonging) involved. For robbery of a vehicle, you shall be charged with a carjacking that imposes a sentence of 15 years in prison onto the perpetrator.
Call an Attorney ASAP!
Given the seriousness of the aforementioned offenses that impose heavy penalties, it becomes inevitable to hire an Attorney as your initial action plan. An Attorney or a local Virginia criminal defense Lawyer can help you understand what you must expect as part of the case proceedings and what possible strategies can get you to minimize the potential charges.