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.
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.
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:
Additionally, certain conditions can increase the penalties associated with a conviction:
There are several different eligible defenses that a criminal defense lawyer may use against the charges, including:
There are a few things that are not considered a valid defense for armed robbery, including:
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.
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.”
There are a number of different arguments that can serve as a defense in an armed robbery conviction, including:
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:
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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