Robbery charges in Pennsylvania are a serious matter. It’s one of Pennsylvania’s most serious crimes and carries significant legal consequences. To navigate such situations effectively, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of robbery laws in the state. In this article, Philadelphia robbery defense lawyer, Brad Shuttleworth, answers some key questions related to robbery charges, the elements of the crime, sentencing, and possible defenses in Pennsylvania.
Is Robbery a Felony in PA?
Yes. Robbery is classified as a felony in Pennsylvania. This categorization reflects the gravity of the offense and the potential harm caused to victims. If you or someone you know is charged with robbery, you have to recognize the serious nature of these charges. You could be facing a massive prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.
Related Article: What is a Felony in Pennsylvania?
What are the Legal Elements Required to Convict on a Robbery Charge?
First, it’s important to distinguish between robbery and burglary, as these are separate criminal offenses in Pennsylvania. Robbery and burglary differ significantly in their nature and elements. Robbery centers on the use of force or threat against a person while committing theft. In contrast, burglary pertains to unlawfully entering a building or property with the intent to commit a crime, such as theft or vandalism.
To be charged with robbery, you must have committed theft while using force or the threat of force against another person. Intent to commit theft and the actual act of taking property from another person are also key components of robbery charges. The prosecution must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law to secure a criminal conviction. Understanding these elements is vital when creating a defense or evaluating the strength of the prosecution’s case.
Related Article: What is the Punishment for Burglary in Pennsylvania?
How Long is a Sentence for Robbery?
The length of a sentence for robbery can vary based on a number of factors. These include the presence of aggravating circumstances, the use of weapons, and the extent of harm to the victim. The maximum punishments for first-time felony robbery in Pennsylvania are:
- First-degree robbery: Up to 20 years imprisonment and $25,000 in fines
- Second-degree robbery: Up to ten years imprisonment and $25,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony robbery: Up to seven years imprisonment and $15,000 in fines
Given the severe potential consequences, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, like the lawyers at Shuttleworth Law P.C. We can assess your case and help you develop an effective legal defense.
How Do I Defend Against Robbery Defenses in Pennsylvania?
When facing robbery charges in Pennsylvania, one of the most important things to remember is that the prosecutors in the criminal justice system must meet specific elements to get a conviction. They have to prove each element of each offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot meet this standard, then they should not be able to get a guilty verdict.
An effective defense can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal, or it may lead to reduced charges and sentencing. Here are some key robbery defenses that the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Shuttleworth Law P.C. may employ on your behalf:
- Lack of Intent: One potential defense is to argue that you did not have the intent to commit robbery. If the defense can demonstrate that you did not have the specific intent to steal, this could weaken the prosecution’s case.
- Lack of Force or Threat: Robbery charges hinge on the use of force or threat against another person. If it can be shown that no force or threat was involved in the alleged crime, it could lead to a reduction in charges or a dismissal.
- Mistaken Identity: Mistaken identity can play a significant role in many cases. Your attorney may present evidence that you were not the person who committed the robbery, potentially through alibi, witness statements, or surveillance footage.
- Constitutional Violations: If your rights were violated during the arrest or investigation, your attorney can seek to have evidence obtained through unconstitutional means suppressed, or excluded, from evidence.
There are several other types of defenses that may be applicable to your case. The strategy you decide to use depends upon the facts and circumstances of your case. However, the most effective way to protect your legal rights when facing robbery charges is to hire a robbery defense lawyer in Pennsylvania.
The Importance of Hiring the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
Navigating robbery charges in Pennsylvania is a complex and high-stakes endeavor. The consequences of a conviction can be severe. It can include lengthy prison sentences and a permanent criminal record. This is why the choice of legal representation is one of the most important decisions you can make when dealing with a criminal case.
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Shuttleworth Law P.C. achieve results for our clients. We possess a deep understanding of Pennsylvania’s criminal laws, court procedures, and the intricacies of building a strong defense. We will assess the details of your case, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument, and formulate a customized defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.
Shuttleworth Law P.C. Invites You to Call for a Free Consultation
Remember, a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney is your greatest asset when navigating the criminal justice system. Shuttleworth Law P.C. can provide you with the best chance of minimizing the legal consequences and safeguarding your rights throughout the legal process. Get your Free Consultation now by calling 888-529-3486 or by messaging us confidentially online. Our legal team can meet with you in person or via secure video conferencing.