The charge of armed robbery is an extremely severe offense. It carries hefty penalties – including time in prison if convicted.
For example, there’s the case of a Houston man who was sentenced to 77 years in federal prison for a string of armed robberies during 2014 and 2015.
However, each case is different and there are a myriad of factors which can affect sentencing decisions.
Always remember that you’re innocent until proved guilty, but here’s what you can expect to happen if you have been charged with armed robbery.
About the Charge
Technically there is no charge of ‘armed robbery’ but it is usually a more colloquial way of talking about the charge of ‘aggravated robbery’.
That charge refers to an alleged robbery where there was a deadly weapon involved – which could be a gun, for example or another weapon which could be used to kill another person.
It may also be where a person caused, or threatened to cause, injury or death to another person during the robbery.
Where this charge is brought, it is highly advisable to hire a criminal lawyer to defend your case. You need a professional who can navigate court procedures and do their utmost to protect your rights at all times.
The Legal Procedure
If you are arrested, you will be read your rights. One of these is the right to an attorney, which we urge you to take advantage of.
You’ll be held in a cell for up to 48 hours before a preliminary hearing with a judge. There’ll then be a bail hearing, where the judge decides whether to allow you to go free until your trial (with conditions).
In return, the defendant pays a given amount to the court, which is returned when the case closes.
Charges (an indictment, in this case) are then filed by the prosecution. Usually, the defendant consults with their attorney at this point, and the defense has the opportunity to peruse the evidence.
A plea is then entered by the defense in an arraignment hearing.
If the plea is ‘not guilty’, an actual trial will go ahead when the court is available to hear the case in full. At the end of this, you’ll either be cleared and let go, or sentenced.
What Penalties Can You Expect if Found Guilty?
If you are charged with armed robbery in Texas, you should know that it is treated as a first-degree felony offense.
If you are convicted, the judge hearing your case can send you to jail for between 5 and 99 years. The court may also fine you up to $10,000.
The actual penalty varies wildly. It depends on whether there are any mitigating circumstances, and how serious the crime was – and how many counts you are facing.
In the case referenced in our introduction, a 77-year sentence was the result of a string of armed jewelry robberies, so its length is hardly surprising.
I’ve Been Charged With Armed Robbery
Everyone has the right to a lawyer to defend them in court. This is regardless of what you may or may not have actually done, and your attorney is duty-bound to represent you to the best of their ability.
This is a fundamental right, enshrined as the ‘Right to Counsel‘ by the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution.
If you are searching for an experienced defense attorney to represent you, contact Vinas and Graham today.