Navigating the Legal Complexities of Armed Robbery in Georgia
Robbery in Georgia Laws
The Official Code of Georgia defines armed robbery as when a “person . . . with intent to commit theft, . . . takes the property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device having the appearance of such weapon.” See O.C.G.A.16-8-41.
A classic example of armed robbery is when someone steals money from another person by pointing a gun at that person. But many other scenarios fit the legal definition of armed robbery. For instance, when police charge someone as a party to a crime, even people who were not present at the crime scene or who did not hold a weapon can be charged with armed robbery.
A person convicted of armed robbery in Georgia may face stiff sentencing and punishment provisions, including a potential life sentence. These stiff penalties also apply to those charged as parties to the crime.
Therefore, seeking legal help from a skilled criminal defense attorney is vital if a defendant commits armed robbery. An experienced attorney can provide resources and a solid defense to reduce your sentence or get your case dismissed.
Whether you are being investigated or have already been arrested for the offense of armed robbery, an experienced lawyer has the knowledge and experience needed to help ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Adam Levin L.L.C. has successfully represented clients charged with armed robbery in Georgia. With years of experience, our legal team can provide the resources and guidance necessary to navigate the complexities of Georgia armed robbery law. Contact us today for a consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights.
Penalties for Armed Robbery in Georgia
Armed robbery under Georgia law is considered a serious violent felony crime. It carries a minimum of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The statute technically authorizes the death penalty for armed robbery, but the U.S. Supreme Court has outlawed the death penalty for non-homicide crimes in Kennedy v. Louisiana.
Because of increased violent crimes in Georgia, prosecutors are aggressive when prosecuting robbery defendants. The penalties become severe if the incident involves serious bodily injury. As a result, armed robbery convictions are often punished harshly by judges. A prior criminal record can also significantly increase your punishment if convicted.
Importantly, armed robbery is considered a serious violent felony under O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.1(c)(4) with stiff felony penalties, which means that whatever sentence a judge imposes will not be eligible for parole. A second conviction for armed robbery carries a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole. See O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7.
If a person unlawfully takes property from another and intentionally inflicts bodily injury, the sentencing guidelines become even more stringent. In this case, a defendant would be charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery.
To ensure the best possible outcome, you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to assess your case and provide the legal guidance and representation you need. They will review the evidence against you, negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf, and fight for a fair sentence. Give Swingle Levin Law a call today to assist you with your case.
Beating Armed Robbery Charges in Georgia: Possible Defenses
No one strategy can guarantee a successful outcome when fighting armed robbery charges in Georgia. However, common defenses to armed robbery charges include the below examples:
Nothing Was Taken
One potential defense against an armed robbery charge is that no property was taken. Under Georgia law, armed robbery requires the offender to take the property of another with the intent to commit theft. If an individual uses a weapon merely to intimidate or scare someone without taking anything, it would not be considered armed robbery. However, such person might still be charged with crimes like assault or battery.
No Intent to Commit Robbery
Another crucial element in an armed robbery conviction is intent. If a person commits an act that could be misconstrued as robbery, such as forcefully reclaiming their property, it may not be considered armed robbery. It’s important to note that the burden of proof lies on the prosecution. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to commit theft.
Sometimes, a person accused of armed robbery may have acted in self-defense. Your Georgia Robbery Attorney might argue that the accused only used a weapon to protect themselves when they perceived a real and immediate threat. The self-defense argument often requires substantial evidence or witness testimony to support the claim, but it can be an effective defense.
A claim of innocence is the most direct defense against an armed robbery charge. If there is credible witness testimony or an alibi that supports the idea that you did not commit the crime, it can be compelling to the jury. Demonstrating that you were not present at the crime scene, or proving that you had no involvement in the incident, could lead to an acquittal.
Lack of a Weapon
In Georgia, a person commits armed robbery when they use a weapon or any object that appears deadly to take something from another person against their will. The presence of a weapon can significantly impact the seriousness of the charge and, consequently, the sentence if convicted. However, if it can be proven that no weapon or imitation of a deadly weapon was used during the alleged robbery, the charges may be reduced.
Another common defense in armed robbery cases is mistaken identity. This defense can be used when the person identified by witnesses or caught on surveillance cameras is not the person who committed the crime. Eyewitness identifications can be unreliable, and an innocent person can be misidentified as the perpetrator.
A defense of duress could be applicable if the person commits the alleged act of armed robbery under threat or coercion. If another individual forced such person to commit the act under immediate threat of harm or death, they may have a viable duress defense. However, this defense can be complex to prove and generally requires evidence showing the presence and immediacy of the threat.
Hiring an Armed Robbery Attorney in Georgia
Armed robbery is a serious offense with harsh consequences, including lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines, not to mention a permanent criminal record. It is among the most serious non-homicide crimes in Georgia. If facing these charges, you need someone who is battle tested and will not wilt under the pressure of such serious charges.
To maximize your chance of a successful outcome, seeking legal assistance as soon as possible following an armed robbery is essential. You can achieve the best possible outcome in your case by working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer whose practice areas include armed robbery defense.
Call an Armed Robbery Lawyer in Georgia
At Swingle Levin Law, L.L.C., our Athens criminal defense team has defended against the most serious allegations for over 15 years. Having handled such cases for years, we are committed to providing our clients with the resources they need to succeed. We are here to assist you if you need help navigating the court system or someone to represent you. Give us a call today.