When you face robbery charges, there is a lot on the line—most importantly of all, your freedom. In Massachusetts, the penalties for robbery are particularly severe. Not only do you face prison time, but you face the potential of a mandatory minimum sentence in many cases.
Robbery isn’t the same as theft and the statutes of Massachusetts are very specific on this matter. If you are accused of robbery, you are accused of a violent offense. And a violent felony conviction on your record can have lifelong effects.
Massachusetts Robbery Laws & Penalties
There are several different laws governing the crime of robbery under the Massachusetts criminal code. The facts of your case and the evidence against you will determine which charge you face. The charge you face will determine what your potential penalty will be.
Simple Assault with the Intent to Rob
If you commit an assault upon the alleged victim and have the intention of robbing or stealing from them, whether you are successful or not, you could face this felony charge. A conviction of this offense carries a potential 10 year prison sentence.
An assault does not have to involve physical contact or harm, merely putting someone in fear of harm will satisfy this aspect of the law.
Stealing by Confining or Putting in Fear
This law is commonly applied to bank robberies or similar situations in which you are accused of using threats or violence to gain access to a secured area where there is money (safe, bank vault, etc.). A conviction could carry up to life in prison for this offense.
Robbery of a Victim Aged 60 and Up
If the alleged victim in your robbery case is over the age of 60, you could face up to life in prison. A mandatory minimum of 2 years is applicable if this isn’t your first offense.
Armed robbery is when you commit robbery with the use of a dangerous weapon. Merely holding the weapon is enough to fit the criteria for this crime. Armed robbery always carries a mandatory minimum sentence. If this is your first offense, you will face at least 5 years in prison. If this is your second or subsequent offense, you will face a mandatory minimum of 15 years.
Robbery Legal Defense Options
Robbery is a very serious crime. Developing a solid defense strategy is something that can be done with the help of a local defense lawyer. From ensuring your rights were not violated during the arrest or gathering of evidence to helping negotiate a possible plea agreement, your attorney is your advocate at every step of the criminal justice system.
If you are charged with robbery or believe you are under investigation for an offense like this, let us put you in contact with a lawyer today.