In mid December, three men walked into a Philadelphia gas station and held up the employee working there with a gun. As one of the men continued to point the gun at the employee, the others stole several items. Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident. The police are still looking for the three men. If they are located, they will likely face charges of armed robbery.
Many people in Philadelphia, and throughout the Commonwealth, believe they know what armed robbery entails, but few know the elements the prosecution must prove. Below, our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer this criminal offense, and the defenses that may be available.
Elements of Armed Robbery
Under state law, there are three elements the prosecution must prove when trying to secure a conviction for armed robbery. These are as follows:
- A robbery occurred in which the defendant used a deadly weapon
- The defendant had the intention of depriving victims of a possession
When people hear the term ‘deadly weapon,’ they often think it refers to a firearm. However, there are many different types of weapons that are considered deadly. The most common weapons people are accused of using in armed robbery cases are bats, knives, firearms, and other threatening objects.
Is Armed Robbery a Felony?
How an armed robbery is classified will depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. The offense of armed robbery is usually charged as a felony in the first, second, or third degree. The penalties for armed robbery will also depend on how the charge was classified.
The most severe penalties for armed robbery are associated with charges of felony in the first degree. The maximum penalties for this charge are a $25,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison. Charges of felony in the second degree carry penalties of a maximum $25,000 fine and as many as ten years in prison. Lastly, a charge of felony in the third degree can carry a penalty of the same maximum $25,000 fine and up to seven years in prison.
Evidence Used when Defending Armed Robbery Charges
Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer will use many different types of evidence when defending a case. Some of the most common forms of evidence used in these cases are as follows:
- Eyewitness testimony
- 911 calls
- Medical records and documentation pertaining to an ambulance call
- Audio and visual evidence from the scene
Our lawyer will also examine the facts of the case to determine if you were even present during the robbery, and if you were the holder of the deadly weapon. Additionally, it may be possible to get the charges reduced so you face a lighter sentence.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia Today
Armed robberies are considered violent crimes and so, you need to speak to a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer immediately. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our skilled attorney will examine every fact of your case, looking for arguments from the prosecution that can be disproven. Call us today at 215-515-6892 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.