You probably already know a lot about the crime of robbery, but what is armed robbery? Armed robbery is theft of property that occurs when you are carrying a weapon. It is charged higher than normal robbery because force is almost always use when a weapon is involved. Even in cases where you only intended to steal, you could still be charged. There are many more elements in these cases, which we will discuss today.
The Other Elements of an Armed Robbery Charge
In an armed robbery case, there must be force. The use of force brings a theft charge up to a robbery. Say that somebody came in to steal from a store and put the store owner in a chokehold – this is a use of force, so the regular theft charge would then be bumped up to robbery. And then, lastly, the third element is the display of a weapon. While in possession of a weapon, a robbery becomes armed robbery. Even if you wander into a store with an unloaded weapon, you could be facing an armed robbery charge because you threatened to use it. Some of the most common weapons include guns, knives, leap pipes, broken bottles, and more.
Defenses to an Armed Robbery Charge
In robbery cases, one of the most common defenses is ‘mistake in identity.’ Sometimes people will mistake one person for stealing from a store, when they didn’t actually do it. Eyewitness testimony can be very unreliable in some cases. Another defense is used when you have a weapon on you but didn’t intend to use it when you were robbing a store or home. Let’s say that, at the time of your arrest, a police officer noticed a pocket knife in your pocket but you carry that knife everywhere and didn’t intend to use it for the crime. This could not be seen as armed robbery, in this case.
Armed robbery is an aggravated charge from robbery. You could see five years to life in prison for the most aggravated cases and depending on how severe the circumstances were. In addition, you could see that the standards of your probation and parole are much harsher because you will be required to complete your prison sentence for such a severe crime. You will be a convicted felon, which could keep you from many benefits in your day-to-day life. Call us today for more information on how we can help you if you have been charged with this crime and need our help.