Building a Chesapeake Robbery Defense

When individuals are charged with robbery, they should reach out to a seasoned legal professional as soon as possible. Since every jurisdiction is different, a local attorney will know the local prosecutors, judges, programs, and customs that may lead to a lighter sentence or at least save the accused from greater hardship than necessary.

If you are facing robbery charges, contact a seasoned robbery lawyer today. An attorney with experience building a Chesapeake robbery defense could fight for you.

Preparing a Defense for a Robbery Charge

The first thing a criminal lawyer will do when building a Chesapeake robbery defense is talk to the accused. The defendant is the best source of information for the defense attorney. Individuals should tell the lawyer every fact of the case, no matter how damaging they believe the information is. In an ideal situation, the defendant will be able to provide the attorney with the names of witnesses, the location of the alleged incident and, of course, how the incident happened. The attorney will then file for discovery and speak with police officers and the prosecution to gather as much information as possible.

Evidence Used in Robbery Cases

Speaking with witnesses or taking witness statements to get a full picture of the incident is essential when dealing with robbery cases. Perhaps the incident did not happen exactly as the alleged victim remembers or as they recounted to the police. The alleged victim may of had a motive to lie. Perhaps the victim cannot remember exactly what the perpetrator looked like. There could be a video of the incident that tells a different story.

Whether to Take a Plea Deal or Not

An experienced criminal defense attorney will discuss the facts of the case with the defendant and, if there is overwhelming evidence that an accused is guilty and the prosecutor is willing to agree to a sentence favorable to the accused, the attorney will likely encourage them to take a plea deal.

In a robbery charge, the potential punishment is anywhere from five years to life. Some evidence that may warrant a plea deal includes:

  • A clear video of the incident
  • Every witness is positive that the accused person did the crime
  • The accused person admitted to it
  • Plenty of evidence to back up the admission

At that point, it would be time to go to the prosecutor and see if there is anything that could be worked out in the form of a plea deal.

If the parties go in front of a judge without a plea deal and the accused person pleads guilty, then the judge has virtually unlimited discretion in how to sentence the accused person. By going in front of the judge with a plea deal agreed to by both the defense attorney and the prosecutor, and if the judge accepts the plea agreement, then that limits the judge’s discretion. What that means is that once the judge accepts the plea deal the sentence for the defendant would have to be in accordance with the plea agreement.

Instead of potentially being sentenced to life, it would be possible that the accused would only be sentenced to 10 years. In that situation, that could be viewed as a favorable result for the accused.

Negotiating a Robbery Charge Down to Theft

The difference between robbery and theft is that robbery is a crime of violence. The “taking” must be accompanied by violence or the threat of violence. Theft can be accomplished simply by taking something with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently. On top of that, theft cannot be punished by life in prison, but robbery can. The maximum punishment for theft or grand larceny is 20 years.

If there is no evidence of violence or a threat of violence, but evidence of taking with the intent to deprive permanently, then the attorney will want to negotiate a charge down to theft. An attorney can always ask for the charge to be negotiated down, regardless of the facts. However, if the prosecution has a compelling case, the chances of negotiating it down will be more difficult.

Contact a Chesapeake Lawyer About Building a Robbery Defense

A conviction for theft is still a criminal conviction. Presumably, most people would like to avoid being convicted of any crime. A criminal conviction carries with it several consequences that could negatively affect an individual for the rest of their life.

A person should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as they believe they are going to be charged with a crime. Having an attorney before they are formally charged allows for the attorney to have more time to prepare. For help with building a Chesapeak robbery defense, contact a seasoned lawyer. Let an accomplished attorney fight for you.