Armed Robbery is the use of a real, or simulated deadly weapon, in the commission of a robbery. By simulated deadly weapon we mean that the weapon doesn't have to be real, using your fingers inside pockets or even a toy will suffice.
This is a very serious offense under South Carolina law. Anyone who pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial must be sentenced to at least ten years in prison. The maximum sentence is thirty years. It is considered a violent crime by the Department of Corrections, and anyone convicted is not eligible for parole.
Just because someone has been arrested by the police for armed robbery doesn't mean that they will automatically become convicted. There are several legal and factual defenses that can be raised. Examples include:
- Mere Presence – Just because someone is there when a crime occurs doesn't necessarily mean they are guilty
- Faulty Identification – Eyewitnesses can get it wrong when it comes to identifying a criminal suspect. It is surprising how wrong someone can be at picking someone out of a lineup.
- Lesser Included Offenses – Sometimes a defendant might be guilty of a lesser offense than armed robbery. There are crimes which are close, such as attempted armed robbery or strong armed robbery, that don't carry the mandatory prison time.
- False Co-Defendant Testimony – Sometimes when multiple people are arrested they will make up allegations against the other in order to try to make a better deal for themselves. This sort of evidence isn't always the most reliable or trustworthy for obvious reasons.
At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we have helped those charged with armed robbery maintain their freedom and peace of mind. If you or a loved one has been charged you may contact our office for a no-cost initial consultation.