What Is Armed Robbery?
Armed robbery is one of the most serious offenses that anyone can be charged with, and carries some of the stiffest penalties under law. By definition, if you steal someone’s property by intimidating them with the presence of a weapon, even if you only pretend to have one, you have committed armed robbery. It is the thought that you have a weapon or the actual presence of the weapon that distinguishes this crime from simple theft.
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Why is it Considered A Felony?
The presence of any weapon during a robbery raises the thought of potential physical harm to the victim, making it a violent crime. The term weapon is not limited to firearms, even though that is the typical weapon used during the committing of an armed robbery. As long as the victim believes they were in danger that makes it a robbery with intent to harm. Firearm use can raise the potential punishment and ensuing penalties to a much higher level, than say the use of a club or knife.
A bank robbery is the most common form of this kind of felony. Too often the execution of this crime is portrayed on television, in movies and even in video games as a profitable gambit for the offender, without truly showing what happens to someone if they are tried, convicted and undergoes armed robbery sentencing. This is a crime that can have long-ranging effects, not only on your freedom but also in terms of financial liability that can affect not only you, but your family as well.
Penalties and Punishment
Being convicted of this type of crime will be punished in much the same way as other violent crimes, such as rape. This is mainly because of its nature, by having to confront someone physically in order to steal the property from an individual, even if the intended target was an institution, for example. The state of Florida for example has instituted several levels for this particular crime, with accordant penalties and punishments designed to fit both the act, as well as the circumstances surrounding it.
Keep in mind that if you are charged with this crime, you potentially face an armed robbery sentence of up to 30 years. If you use a firearm, it becomes armed robbery with a deadly weapon and the court can also levy monetary awards to the victim, especially if the victim came to harm during the crime. If you have been charged with a crime of this nature, seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney immediately. The best defense is a good offense, and an experienced attorney can help you put together the best plan to defend your rights.