Any incident that alleges theft is a serious matter under state law. However, among the most serious are those that allege taking property off the body of another person. Something as straightforward as a simple mugging is a felony that can bring a prison sentence of up to 15 years. In addition, the presence of aggravating factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon to aid in a robbery, increases the potential penalties.
A Columbia robbery lawyer is available to represent you in the wake of this charge. A skilled theft attorney could make sure that you understand the ramifications of the law, acquire any evidence that might promote your case, and even contend whether evidence that a prosecutor brings against you was the product of illegal police work.
Robbery is one of the oldest criminal offenses in state law and is so old that the state’s statutes do not provide a strict definition. Instead, South Carolina Code § 16-11-325 merely states that a “common law offense of robbery” is a felony. It goes on to state that an offense carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
It is important to understand what constitutes a common law robbery. This involves a theft where a person is alleged to have taken property directly off of another through the use or threat of force. Merely walking up to someone and stating, “give me your money,” could potentially satisfy this definition. The State must prove that not only did a defendant take this property but that the other person felt genuine fear of harm during the event. A Columbia robbery attorney could argue the validity of this fear while presenting a defense in court.
A basic robbery allegation can come with severe consequences but there are a few factors that may compound the seriousness of a case. The most common is the presence of a deadly weapon at the scene of an alleged robbery.
Under SC Code §16-11-330, committing a robbery or attempting to do so while armed with a deadly weapon is a felony. If the defendant succeeds in the robbery, it comes with a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence, with the defendant being forced to serve at least seven of them. The most severe available punishment is 30 years imprisonment.
The penalties for an attempted armed robbery are slightly less: the court can issue a maximum sentence of 20 years and there is no mandatory minimum.
A robbery lawyer in Columbia could work with someone to promote a defense against any version of a robbery case. The types of defenses range from the defendant being completely innocent, to the incident not rising to the legal definition of a robbery. Furthermore, there could be a dispute as to whether the defendant had a weapon at the time or whether the robbery was even successful.
Every robbery case involves the alleged taking of property through the use or threat of force. This can include a simple verbal threat, the use of one’s fists against another, or even threatening another with a weapon. In every case, a robbery charge is a felony where a conviction will forever change your life.
Reach out to a Columbia robbery lawyer to see if you might be able to avoid these convictions. They could be your legal advocate and explain your rights under the law, evaluate the legality of police work that led to an arrest, fight to exclude improper evidence, and make arguments before juries that could help to raise the idea of reasonable doubt. Call now to discuss further.