It is always important to know exactly what crime the prosecutor is charging you with. For instance, in Tennessee, there are three types of robbery crimes: robbery, aggravated robbery and especially aggravated robbery. To defend yourself, you need to know the elements of the crime you have been charged with and if they fit the evidence.
All robberies involve intentionally stealing from another person through violence or putting the victim in fear of violence. The main differences between these three levels of robbery are:
- Did the defendant use a deadly weapon?
- Did the victim suffer a serious injury?
When neither a deadly weapon nor any serious injuries were involved, it was most likely a simple robbery. If the defendant allegedly used a deadly weapon (e.g., a knife or a gun) OR seriously injured the victim, the prosecution will probably charge them with aggravated robbery. Finally, especially aggravated robbery involves BOTH a deadly weapon AND bodily injury to the victim.
The sentences for a conviction
All three of these crimes are felonies, but the prison sentence you could get for a conviction ranges widely. A conviction for a Class C felony like simple robbery triggers a prison term of three to 15 years. Aggravated robbery is a Class B felony, which means a sentence of eight to 30 years. And especially aggravated robbery is a Class A felony in Tennessee. If convicted, you could serve 15-60 years behind bars.
Fighting back against serious theft charges
However, it is not unusual for the prosecution to overcharge defendants. If the evidence does not fit the crime you were charged with, you and your defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced, if not dismissed. Otherwise, you and your team can prepare the best possible defense strategy against the charges.