Are you or a loved one facing sentencing for a robbery in North Carolina?
You should know that robbery charges are very serious and are classified as a felony. There are different types of robbery punishments and there’s a lot you need to know before you go to court.
We’ll take you through the different types of robbery and help you decide whether you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. They can work with people who have been accused of felony robbery charges and may be able to help reduce jail time.
1. Common Law Robbery
Robbery is much more serious than simple theft and is considered a violent crime. Basically, robbery means that a person physically took someone else’s property by using threats of force.
The property taken could be a cell phone, money, clothing, or a car. It doesn’t matter what was taken, just that it was removed by force.
While the crime of theft doesn’t have to have a victim present, the crime of robbery does. The victim has to be present during the robbery. That’s what differentiates theft from common law robbery.
In cases of robbery, the victim doesn’t even need to own the property that is taken. The mere fact that the property is taken by force qualifies the incident as a robbery.
In North Carolina, different types of robbery carry different sentences. Common law robbery is classified as a Class G felony. It can carry up to a 31-month sentence and will remain on your record for life.
If you have been accused of an attempted robbery charge, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer. They can help you explore your options and formulate a defense.
2. Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon
There are several different types of robbery charges, and robbery with a dangerous weapon is very serious.
It involves taking property from someone while using a gun or weapon. The victim’s life was directly threatened and they were in serious danger.
The victim could have been at any location: their home, their place of business, a grocery store, or parking lot. The fact remains that their lives were in danger from more than just verbal threats of force.
Even if the robber doesn’t show their weapon and only threatens to use it, the case will still be tried as a robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Armed robbery cases are considered a Class D felony and can carry sentences of more than 12 years in jail.
If you or your loved one has prior misdemeanors or felonies on their records, you may be looking at an extended period of jail time and probation.
3. Train Robbery
People who use a weapon near or in a train car can be charged with a train robbery. Train robbery doesn’t involve stealing a train, but it does mean that a victim was forced to give up their property on or near a train.
If the robber shot a gun or showed it to the victim, they would be charged with a train robbery.
Train robbery may seem like a rare offense, but it’s still classified as a Class D felony.
Even if you are guilty of an attempted robbery charge or felony robbery, working with a criminal defense lawyer can be helpful. They can work with the courts to reduce sentences and in some cases can have sentences eliminated altogether.
It’s very important to have a competent lawyer representing you at your trial. People sometimes decide to be their own lawyers, but they don’t have the experience and insight necessary to represent themselves.
Habitual Offender Sentencing
When someone has a prior record, the judge must calculate a “prior record score” to figure out how long to incarcerate them for.
Class D felonies carry a weight of six points, and Class G felonies carry four points. Misdemeanors are weighted at one point apiece.
If you previously plead guilty to a weapons charge or other armed robbery charges, the judge could bump your punishment up to a Class C felony that has a minimum mandatory of 10 years in prison.
Judges have to take a look at your prior record, add up all the points, and weigh all of the aspects of the case. Mitigating factors could reduce a person’s sentence from more than 100 months to fewer than 60 months.
Aggravated and Mitigated Robbery Charges
All this means is that if the crime was especially bad, the judge can add years to a person’s sentence. That means the crime falls into the aggravated range.
If the victim was elderly or a child, or if the crime itself was particularly grisly, the judge has it within his or her power to add years to the sentence.
There are different types of robbery, and if the judge sees any mitigating factors they can shorten a person’s sentence. If a person has no prior record, accepts responsibility for their crime, and is willing to make amends, they may find that their sentence is shortened, or mitigated.
Criminal defense lawyers can help you or your loved one formulate a defense in cases of armed robbery or common law robbery.
Should I Consult a Lawyer?
If you or a loved one are facing attempted robbery charges or armed robbery charges, you should definitely speak to a qualified, experienced attorney. We are dedicated to assisting people, even if they are guilty.
We have more than 20 years of experience helping people who find themselves facing criminal charges. Fanney Law Office, PLLC can take your call at any time of day or night. We also offer free consultations to new clients.
Fanney Law Office, PLLC has been voted one of the top law firms in the United States for six years in a row. We are board-certified specialists in criminal law and have been voted SuperLawyers for 10 years in a row.
Take a minute and contact us with the details of your case. Even if you’re not in Raleigh or Durham, we may be able to take your case. Let us know what you’re up against. We’re looking forward to meeting with you soon.