Any kind of theft allegation could result in serious criminal charges, but property crimes that also involve violence are among the most serious.
Robbery is already one of the more frightening forms of theft, as it typically involves face-to-face interaction between the person conducting the theft and the victim. Under Tennessee law, a robbery becomes aggravated robbery when the victim suffers serious bodily harm or the person accused of theft uses a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime or the victim thinks there is a deadly weapon involved.
Sometimes, a person’s panic in the moments of confrontation, the wrong words or aggressive body language might lead to someone thinking you had a weapon when you actually did not.
In some cases, aggravated robbery charges depend entirely on the victim’s perspective
If the alleged victim did not suffer any serious injuries in the incident, you might think that the charges you face will be minor. However, if they suspected that you had a weapon at the time of your interaction because of something you said or did, their beliefs that you had a weapon influence their behavior and the outcome of the interaction.
As such, law enforcement officers and prosecutors will place a lot of weight on the victim’s assumption that you had a weapon. Even if there is security footage that shows you had nothing in your hands or if you got arrested immediately afterward and had nothing remotely close to a weapon on your person, it could still be possible for the state to pursue aggravated robbery charges against you based on the claims of the victim.
Serious charges require serious strategy
Aggravated robbery can mean more significant consequences for you as a defendant. Standard robbery is often a Class C felony, but aggravated robbery is a Class B felony, making it a more serious charge that could mean up to 30 years of incarceration.
Understanding the penalties but you face, as well as the evidence the state wants to use in your case, can help you plan for your defense. The sooner you begin that process, the more prepared you will be when your day in court comes.