McDonough Armed Robbery Lawyer

Georgia takes armed robbery seriously. In an attempt to curb the rate of armed robberies in McDonough, GA, the state has established serious penalties for an armed robbery conviction. However, those charged with armed robbery deserve every chance to clear their name. There are a number of solid defensive strategies to armed robbery charges, but you’ll want a robbery attorney who’s invested in your case to understand how to approach your situation. If you or a loved one has been charged with armed robbery, you can count on Miller North & Brill for a thorough effort in defending against the charges.

McDonough Armed Robbery Lawyer

Armed Robbery

Georgia defines armed robbery as theft that occurs in the immediate presence of another person while using an offensive weapon or the appearance of having an offensive weapon. What is considered an offensive weapon has been left undefined by the law and must be interpreted by the courts. Generally, almost anything that can be designed as a weapon has been found to be such, including firearms, whether loaded or not. Other things have been ruled to be offensive weapons based on their use. For instance, courts have even ruled a pillowcase to be an offensive weapon in certain circumstances.

Armed Robbery Penalties

Georgia law describes a range of penalties that is acceptable for armed robberies, but the particular sentence will depend on the characteristics of the case and the defendant involved. Some of the penalties for armed robbery include:

  • A minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years for a first-time offender
  • A minimum of 15 years for robbing a pharmacy of a controlled substance

Additionally, certain conditions can increase the penalties associated with a conviction:

  • If the convicted has a previous felony conviction anywhere in the United States, they must receive the maximum penalty of 20 years.
  • If the convicted has three previous felony convictions anywhere in the United States, they must be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  • The death penalty may be an option in some circumstances.

Armed Robbery Defenses

There are several different eligible defenses that a criminal defense lawyer may use against the charges, including:

  • Nothing Was Stolen – If there was nothing taken, then the defendant is not guilty of armed robbery, although they may be guilty of armed assault or battery.
  • Innocence – The defense can argue that the accused didn’t commit the crime, potentially making use of a provable alibi or demonstrating that the defendant was wrongfully identified as the perpetrator.
  • Lack of Intent – If the defendant truly believed, and had good reason to believe, that the property belonged to them, then they may be found not guilty of armed robbery.
  • No Weapon or Appearance of a Weapon – If the defendant didn’t actually have a weapon and wasn’t attempting to make it appear as though they had a weapon, then they weren’t armed, even if they are still guilty of robbery.

Ineligible Armed Robbery Defenses

There are a few things that are not considered a valid defense for armed robbery, including:

  • Claiming that it wasn’t a real weapon but a toy. If the replica or toy looks realistic enough to cause someone to believe that the person is armed, that is enough for a conviction.
  • No one saw the weapon. If the defendant says something that states or implies the presence of a weapon, then the victim has reason to believe that they are armed.

FAQs About McDonough, GA Armed Robbery Laws

How Much Time Do You Get for Armed Robbery in Georgia?

The exact penalty for armed robbery will vary based on the specifics of the case and the defendant involved. There is a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for an armed robbery conviction, but the penalty may rise as high as 20 years, life in prison, or the death penalty. Anyone convicted of a felony in Georgia, who was also previously convicted of a felony in Georgia or anywhere else in the United States, will receive the maximum sentence which, in the case of armed robbery, is 20 years. Additionally, if a defendant has previously been convicted of three felonies anywhere in the United States, the conviction of a felony armed robbery can result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

What If the Gun Was Unloaded?

An unloaded gun may be used to argue for a reduced sentence in the case of an armed robbery, but it is not grounds for avoiding conviction. In the absence of an offensive weapon or loaded weapon, what matters for a conviction is the attempt to intimidate or threaten others with the appearance of having a weapon for the purpose of robbing them. This means that a realistic toy gun, or even a finger hidden in an attempt to look like a gun, can lead to the defendant being considered “armed.”

How Can You Defend Against Armed Robbery?

There are a number of different arguments that can serve as a defense in an armed robbery conviction, including:

  • Nothing was taken.
  • You believed the property to be yours.
  • You acted in self-defense.
  • You were innocent, and an alibi or a case of mistaken identity could demonstrate your innocence.
  • There was no weapon or appearance of a weapon.

What Is an Offensive Weapon?

Georgia law does not specify what is to be considered an offensive weapon, so precedence in the courts can indicate how different items may be deemed a weapon. Hands and feet have previously been found to not be offensive weapons. While almost anything designed to be a weapon has been ruled as such, there is a wide range of things that aren’t traditionally considered weapons but may be, depending on how they are used. For instance, some of the things courts have previously considered weapons include:

  • Firearms (loaded and unloaded)
  • Replica or realistic toy firearms
  • Nunchucks
  • Vice grips
  • Screwdriver
  • Pillowcase
  • Skillet
  • Electric cord
  • Gasoline and a lit cigarette

A Serious Charge Needs a Serious Defense

An armed robbery conviction comes with serious consequences. When facing robbery charges, you don’t want to take any risk of getting an inadequate defense from a public defender. You need a legal team that can thoroughly investigate the situation and develop a firm defensive strategy for your case. At Miller North & Brill, our team can examine every avenue of defense for your position. We have a skilled, experienced team that can work hard in representing you. If you or a loved one has been charged with armed robbery, contact us today.

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