Fairfax Robbery Attorney
Robbery is an offense in which theft is accompanied by force or violence or the threat thereof. In Fairfax County, this is considered a heinous offense and can bring with it the penalty of a life sentence. Even in cases in which there was no intent to harm, if the crime escalated, for instance, from a simple pickpocketing to a situation in which a struggle ensues and the victim is pushed, threatened, or even shown a lethal weapon, the crime with which one is charged quickly intensifies from simple larceny to robbery. If you have further questions about the law not addressed on this page, consult a Fairfax robbery lawyer.
The Virginia Criminal Code does not specifically define robbery per se. Virginia law merely defines how its robbery statutes are applied, prosecuted, and penalized. This includes the review of circumstances surrounding the offense, which may result in different penalties. Such circumstances include:
- Was a weapon present and, if so, how was it used?
- Was the victim assaulted, either with or without a weapon? I so, how seriously was the victim wounded?
- If other crimes were committed along with the robbery or burglary were they felonies or misdemeanors?
Robbery in Fairfax
Whether it is committed in Fairfax or any other jurisdiction in Virginia, robbery involves the elements of theft and that the theft was accomplished through the use or threat of force. Force does not have to mean that the victim was seriously injured. Force can include:
- Assault, which puts the victim in imminent fear of serious bodily harm;
- Violence; which can include beating or choking the victim;
- Brandishing a gun or other deadly weapon as a threat of imminent harm, and using it to harm the victim.
A felony robbery conviction can result in a sentence of five years to life in prison. See Section 18.2-58. If you have questions about robbery charges, contact a Fairfax robbery lawyer to learn more and discuss your options.
Carjacking Charges in Fairfax
Carjacking is considered a serious, violent felony on the Commonwealth of Virginia due to the nature of the crime. A suspect is guilty of carjacking if he/she intentionally takes another person’s vehicle with intent to deprive the victim of their property. It can include the any or all of the same three elementary previously discussed, including the threat of violence, actual force, or the brandishing or use of a deadly weapon.
Those who are convicted of carjacking face a penalty ranging from 15 years to life in prison. See Section 18.2-58.1(B)]. And that penalty can be further enhanced if the carjacker committed other “aggravated” penalties at the time, such assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, or murder: Virginia Code Section 18.2-58.1 (C). If an alleged carjacker is suspected of killing the victim, the crime may be charged as a capital offense.
Burglary Charges in Fairfax
In the simplest terms, burglary is a combination of stealing cash, goods, or items and breaking and entering. It is not normally viewed as a confrontational or violent as robbery, but can still result in serious penalties. There can be elements to this offense that can also make it an “aggravated” case as well, and increase the potential penalties. It is generally defined as “breaking into a home or business (at night) while intending to steal money or property.” It is a Class 3 felony and upon conviction, and the perpetrator faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. See Code Section 18.2-10(c) & (g).
Burglary variations (or enhancements) can include:
- Statutory burglary occurs if the unarmed suspect enters a business or dwelling and intends to commit another felony: [Section 18.2-90]. It is punishable by a prison term that ranges from five to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000 [Section 18.2-10 (c)]
- If the suspect is armed when committing burglary; and/or intends to commit an Aggravated Felony (rape, robbery, arson, assault, etc) it is a Class 2 felony. See Code Sections 18.2-90 and 18.2-91]. Upon conviction, the suspect could face a minimum penalty of 20 years and a maximum term of life in prison. Fines may range up to $100,000. See Code Section 18.2-10 (b).
- If a suspect possesses “burglary tools,” (i.e. crowbars, wrenches, picks) with the intent to commit burglary or any other theft-related offense, it is a Class 5 felony [Section 18.2-94]. The punishment is one to 10 years in prison. The penalty may be reduced to up to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine, at the discretion of a judge or jury.
- If someone breaks into and enters a home while someone is there and the suspect intends to commit an additional misdemeanor, they may be charged with a Class 6 felony if the suspect was not armed. The penalty for such a charge can include up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, the suspect was armed when entering the home, the charge may be elevated to a Class 2 felony with potential sentence of up to 20 years and possible fine of up to $100,000. See Code Sections 18.2-92 and 18.2-10 (2).
Fairfax Robbery Lawyers Can Help
The Virginia State Police releases crime statistics in a report entitled “Crime in Virginia.” This compilation of data shows that in 2011, the theft of money accounted for a property loss of more than $50 million. Contributing to this huge loss were nearly 5500 reported robberies. Of those robberies, there were approximately 8000 offenders, almost 90% of which were males aged 35 and under.
If you have been arrested for any form of robbery, from carjacking to armed robbery and beyond, it is in your best interest to secure a dedicated Fairfax robbery lawyer to develop a strong defense for your case and help you avoid the maximum penalties which the prosecution is likely to diligently pursue.