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Every year, more than 12,000 robberies take place in Pennsylvania.
Many of these cases involve the use of deadly weapons, making them armed robberies.
This is a serious crime, which carries long-lasting and enhanced penalties.
If you’ve been charged with armed robbery, you could face jail time and a huge fine, as well as a criminal record that could stay with you for the rest of your life.
That’s why it’s important that you learn the ins and outs of these charges, and how an experienced defense attorney can help you.
How Pennsylvania State Treats Armed Robbery
Read on to find out what armed robbery is, how charges are brought and how to defend yourself against them.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
The Definition of Armed Robbery
A person is guilty of committing an armed robbery if they assault, or threaten to assault someone with a weapon while committing a theft.
The Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18, defines this as the following:
- Inflicting serious bodily injury upon another person
- Threatening someone or intentionally putting them in fear of injury
- Physically takes or forcibly removes property from another person
- Taking money from a financial institution without permission by making a demand of an employee
A person is charged with a robbery of the first degree if the accusation is that they inflicted or even threatened serious bodily injury on the victim, or if they were in the process of committed another felony when the robbery occurred.
A robbery of the second degree is charged when the accusation is that they inflicted a less serious bodily injury on a person or threatens bodily injury. A robbery with a gun is almost always a felony of the first degree because a gunshot wound is considered serious bodily injury.
A third degree robbery is like a pickpocket—slight to no force and no weapon.
The charges for armed robbery depend on the severity and circumstances of the crime.
First-degree robbery is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, as well as a jail sentence of up to 20 years.
For second-degree robbery, the fine remains the same, but the maximum jail sentence is reduced to 10 years.
For third-degree robbery, there is a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to 7 years.
The sentencing guidelines are “enhanced” if the judge finds that a deadly weapon was used or possessed and the punishments can be substantially higher.
How to Defend Your Case
There are a number of ways in which a criminal defense lawyer can fight your case in court.
An attorney will examine all of the evidence and circumstances involved in your case to provide you with the best defense.
Depending on the circumstances, some possible defense strategies include presenting evidence of an alibi or false accusation, challenging the validity of witness testimony, or providing evidence that you did not commit of one of the elements required to be found guilty of armed robbery.
Plea bargaining, sentence reduction, or having the charges dropped all together are possible outcomes with a strong defense team.
Get The Legal Assistance You Need
If you’re facing charges for armed robbery, you’ll need an experienced attorney on your side.
Marni Jo Synder is a criminal defense lawyer specializing in these kinds of cases. She’ll guide you through the entire legal process, making it as easy and comfortable as possible for you. She’ll also build a body of evidence to support your case and fight for you in court. With her in your corner, you can get the results you need.
Contact the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder today at 215-515-3360 for your FREE consultation.