Armed Robbery Lawyer in Jacksonville, NC
Armed robbery is a violent property crime in North Carolina. When charged with this offense, you face a substantial amount of time behind bars if convicted. Not only would you lose your freedom, but you’ll also have a permanent criminal record that may negatively impact your job prospects, limit places where you may live, and much more.
On both a state and federal level, the consequences for armed robbery are much more severe than those for larceny or burglary. For instance, if you have a prior criminal record, you’re looking at a 20-year prison sentence or more for an armed robbery conviction. Such a conviction may change the course of your entire life. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville by your side while you fight these charges.
At Wilkie Law Firm, Attorney Aden Wilkie has a strong reputation for achieving successful outcomes for his clients facing theft charges in Jacksonville and the surrounding communities. If you’re facing armed robbery charges, give us a call at (910) 333-9626 as soon as possible to obtain a consultation.
North Carolina Robbery Law
An armed robbery charge in North Carolina involves stealing or taking something of value from someone else without consent and by using intimidation or force via a deadly weapon (i.e. a knife or firearm). Since this is a violent crime, potential punishments include lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines.
If you’ve been associated or charged with this crime, it’s imperative that you retain the legal services of a Jacksonville robbery lawyer right away. The criminal defense team at Wilkie Law Firm has successfully defended numerous clients against charges of armed robbery.
Types of Robbery
North Carolina criminal statutes outline three distinct types of robbery, including:
- Common-Law Robbery: This type of robbery involves a victim, though not the use of a dangerous weapon.
- Armed Robbery: The perpetrator threatens the victim with a dangerous weapon, placing them at risk of bodily harm, and takes their property. In some jurisdictions, this crime is called aggravated robbery.
- Aiding and Abetting: This crime involves helping or enabling another person to commit robbery.
What is Armed Robbery in North Carolina?
North Carolina Statute § 14-87 addresses robberies committed with deadly weapons, stating that any person possessing, threatening to use, or using a firearm while taking or attempting to take personal property from another person or entity can be guilty of armed robbery. Also known as robbery with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery involves the following elements:
- Using force to take or try to take the property of another person or residence, business, bank, or other establishment with people present.
- The suspect employs force via the use, display, or threat of a deadly weapon, putting the victim at risk of bodily injury.
If a suspect has a weapon on them while committing a robbery, even if it is not employed or even made evident to the victim, they may still be charged and tried for armed robbery.
Robbery vs. Armed Robbery
In North Carolina, robbery may either be classified as common law robbery or robbery with a dangerous weapon. Using direct force or the threat of force to physically take something from another person is common law robbery.
When a weapon, such as a firearm, is used to commit the offense, it becomes the more severe crime of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Robbery with a dangerous weapon and common law robbery are both felony charges. Another crime, called aiding and abetting, is when someone helps another person commit the crime in some way. This is also a felony.
For a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon to occur, the following elements must be present:
- The perpetrator has a dangerous weapon in their possession.
- They use or threaten to use the weapon against the victim.
- The use of this weapon puts the victim at risk of severe injury and endangers their life.
- The perpetrator takes or tries to take property from the victim’s person or property from a business or residence in a person’s presence.
According to the North Carolina Supreme Court, hands and feet are not dangerous weapons. Using the hands or feet to threaten or put someone in harm’s way does not count as using a dangerous weapon. A deadly weapon is something other than the physical body of the defendant.
What is Attempted Robbery?
Even attempting but ultimately failing to rob someone may still constitute robbery, and conviction is typically a felony. Someone charged with attempted robbery is accused of having the intention to unlawfully take property that he or she does not own. In this case, there was no property stolen during the commission of the crime, but the defendant intended and attempted to permanently deprive the victim of their property. Some circumstances may aggravate such a charge, resulting in a harsher punishment.
How Many Years Do You Get for Armed Robbery?
Both common-law robbery and robbery with a dangerous weapon are felonies. As such, they carry substantial penalties, such as fines, lengthy prison sentences, and probation.
The following penalties may result from an armed robbery conviction in North Carolina:
Common-law robbery is a Class G felony and carries a potential maximum sentence of 47 months (nearly 4 years) of prison time.
Armed robbery is a very serious charge. Those convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon may end up behind bars for as many as 204 months (17 years) for this Class D felony.
Aiding and Abetting
This crime is punished the same as if the perpetrator committed the crime themselves and can be punished as a Class D felony, depending on the circumstances.
Enhanced Punishment for Habitual Offender
If a defendant has previously pled guilty or been convicted of another firearm or theft offense, they could be treated as a habitual offender. They might be subject to enhanced sentencing for an additional Class C felony and a minimum mandatory sentence of 120 months.
Robbery is always a felony in North Carolina, and the punishments can be harsh. The circumstances surrounding the individual crime determine the consequences and penalties. Speak with an experienced Jacksonville theft crime defense lawyer for a better understanding of the penalties you may be facing.
Potential Defenses for Armed Robbery
Avoiding the harsh penalties that come with a conviction for armed robbery requires an extremely effective defense. Some of the defenses that may be utilized for your case include (but are not limited to):
- Mistaken Identity: A robbery happened, but the defendant didn’t do it. This is a defense available to anyone charged with armed robbery. If the defendant has an alibi, they may present it to establish that they were not present when the crime occurred.
- You Own the Property: Robbery occurs when someone takes property belonging to someone else. So, if the defendant was taking back their own property, the prosecution does not have a case against you.
- Not of Sound Mind: If the accused committed the crime while under mental duress, such as a mental break or while under the influence of drugs, the charges could be lessened. This is because the accused was not of sound mind when the incident occurred.
With experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney Aden Wilkie by your side defending you against an armed robbery charge, the prosecution will need to work extremely hard for a conviction. For the prosecutor’s case to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, these specific elements must be met:
- You took another person’s property.
- You took property from them physically or in their presence.
- You left with the property.
- It was your goal to deprive them of their property permanently.
- You used threats or violence to take the property.
If the prosecution doesn’t prove all the elements listed above, you may not be convicted of the crime.
Call a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer at Wilkie Law Firm Today
When you are accused or associated with a crime like armed robbery, it’s vital you speak with a Jacksonville robbery lawyer at Wilkie Law Firm. The potential punishments for this felony crime can be life-altering, and you should not face the legal system on your own.
Attorney Wilkie pours over all the evidence the prosecution presents in armed robbery cases and diligently gathers all related facts. He has a thorough knowledge of criminal law and extensive experience ensuring clients avoid harsh punishments. His representation and legal guidance may be all that stand between a not guilty verdict and years in prison for the commission of a violent crime.
Our criminal defense attorneys defend clients against various types of theft charges and other violent crimes like homicide, manslaughter, and assault and battery, as well as drug offenses, DWI, protective order violations, and much more. In addition to civilian criminal defense, Attorney Wilkie also provides legal services for members of the armed services, including military court-martial, fraternization, and military hazing.
For an initial consultation and to create an attorney-client relationship today, contact the Jacksonville armed robbery lawyers at Wilkie Law firm by calling (910) 333-9626 today.
Hire The Best
It is crucial for you to have an experienced theft crimes defense attorney on your side. Contact us today at 910-333-9626 for a consultation and decide for yourself if the Wilkie Law Firm is the best choice for you.