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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Philadelphia Armed Robbery Penalties

Philadelphia armed robbery penalties vary on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. When an individual is charged with a crime such as armed robbery, the crime adds together all of the sub-portions of the crime. This means an individual could be facing robbery of the first degree, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, possession of an instrument of a crime, and assaultive charges. Altogether, these charges could add up to over 30 years of incarceration for a first offense. Armed robbery is a type of crime that judges and prosecutors have very little leeway with when sentencing an individual.

Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines call for sentences starting in the range of seven to 14 years in custody for a first offense. Should the person have any prior criminal history, the penalties could be enhanced. The penalties for an armed robbery are severe, which is why if you are facing charges you should contact an experienced armed robbery attorney.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

For any person to be charged with armed robbery in Philadelphia, the prosecutor must prove that there was suspicion more likely than not that the individual was involved in the commission of armed robbery. To prove an individual guilty of such charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual committed the crime.

If an armed robbery already took place, they must prove it was done so in a manner that the threat of violence came into play or an actual injury to a complainant occurred. Force, however slight, as defined by the Pennsylvania Crimes Code raises the theft to a robbery. If during the robbery an item such as a gun was used, the offense would include the charges of possession of an instrument of the crime and a violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. Prosecutors take armed robbery cases very seriously, especially if the weapon was, in fact, a firearm.

Difference Between Armed Robbery and Theft

Armed robbery and theft differ in Philadelphia in that they are essentially lesser offenses of one another. For a person to commit armed robbery, they must commit a theft or attempted theft against another individual. The crime of theft is required to make the crime of robbery and the crime of robbery only comes into play when there is a force of threat, however slight, during the commission of a theft. That raises the theft to a robbery. A robbery is raised to armed robbery with the use of a deadly weapon when either used or threatened during the commission.

What makes armed robbery more severe than theft is that armed robbery is committing a theft with force and the forces include the use of a deadly weapon. Armed robbery means a person has threatened serious bodily injury or caused serious bodily injury to another or others during the commission of a heinous crime, such as theft.

Felony Long-Term Consequences

In all cases, armed robbery is a felony offense of the first degree. In most cases involving armed robbery, it is not one charge, but could be as many as 10 or more charges that an individual is convicted of. Upon conviction for a standard armed robbery in Philadelphia, an individual sentence often starts around 15 to 30 years incarceration with little chance for parole.

Also, when someone is facing Philadelphia armed robbery penalties, they are looking at long-term consequences. This includes the inability to legally obtain a firearm, trouble keeping a job or applying for a new one, and could cause problems regarding housing. Therefore, it is essential for someone who is facing Philadelphia armed robbery penalties to contact an accomplished criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.