On September 6, a man entered a home in Chester County, grabbed the woman inside by the throat and threatened her with a gun. Before fleeing on foot, he also stole a child’s cell phone, as well as the house and car keys. The police are looking for the man accused of the armed robbery and have issued a warrant for his arrest. If found and convicted of the crime, the man will face very harsh penalties. Below, our Allentown criminal defense lawyer explains the burden of proof the prosecution has, and the potential penalties one may face when they are charged with armed robbery.
The Prosecution’s Burden of Proof
To secure a conviction for armed robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The prosecutor must prove that a robbery took place and that during the commission of the crime, the defendant threatened violence or actually injured another person.
Difference Between Theft and Armed Robbery
Armed robbery and theft are such similar offenses that many people mistake them for each other. However, there are differences between the two. The crime of theft only involves taking someone else’s property without their permission, regardless of whether the offender plans on returning the property to its rightful owner. Any level of violence involved in the commission of the crime raises the offense to robbery. If a deadly weapon was used, as in the most recent story, the offense is upgraded to armed robbery.
Armed Robbery has Long-Term Consequences
A conviction for armed robbery will come with very serious consequences. Individuals that are charged with this offense are often also charged with other crimes, as well. Someone charged with armed robbery may also face penalties for violations of the Uniform Firearms Act, assault charges, and perhaps possession of an instrument of crime. If convicted of these charges, a person may face up to 30 years in prison, even when it is their first offense.
For the crime of armed robbery alone, the sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania stipulate that a person will face 7 to 14 years in prison if they are convicted. In addition to the prison time sentenced, those convicted will face other penalties, as well. These could include not being able to legally own a firearm, being unable to obtain employment, and could even result in an inability to find housing. These consequences are due to the permanent criminal record one will have after a conviction, which will follow the individual for the rest of their life.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Allentown Can Help You Beat the Charges
A conviction for armed robbery will come with very serious consequences but at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our Allentown criminal defense lawyers can help you beat the charges. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the defense strategies that can help your case.