In Massachusetts, the crime of armed robbery is considered a felony and could result in jail time. If you have been charged with armed robbery, it is critical that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to help fight for you. Having a defense attorney on your side will give you the best chance of securing a desirable outcome, as the crime of armed robbery is taken very seriously in the state of Massachusetts.
What is Armed Robbery in Massachusetts?
In the state of Massachusetts, armed robbery is when an individual assaults another person, and either robs, steals, or takes money or other property while armed with a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon is a weapon that is designed for the purpose of inflicting serious injury or death and includes: firearms, shotguns, rifles, machine guns and assault weapons.
What Does the Commonwealth Need to Prove for a Conviction?
In order to convict you of armed robbery, the Commonwealth must prove several things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon
- A threat made by the defendant put the alleged victim in a state of fear, or the defendant physically hurt or used force on the alleged victim
- The defendant took the alleged victim’s possession with the intent to steal it, and
- The defendant took the alleged victim’s possession out the victim’s control
What are the Possible Penalties if I’m Convicted?
If you are convicted of armed robbery, the law states that you “shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.” This means that there is no initial mandatory minimum, or maximum sentence that must be imposed – the judge has the power to sentence you to any term of imprisonment they see fit. Some things the judge will consider when imposing a sentence in an armed robbery conviction are your criminal background, and the circumstances of the event itself.
If you were masked or wearing a disguise at the time of the armed robbery, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for your first offense. If there are any subsequent offenses after your first offense of armed robbery while wearing a mask/disguise, the mandatory minimum is raised to ten years in prison.
If a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon was used in the robbery, the mandatory minimum is five years for the first offense, and fifteen years for any offenses after.
A conviction for armed robbery can serve as a predicate offense under the armed career criminal act. This means that if you are convicted and later charged with a firearms offense, you could be facing serious mandatory minimums.
While the potential penalties if convicted are intimidating, there are defenses for the crime of armed robbery. I take on criminal defense cases all over the Greater Boston area. I have handled armed robbery cases, and my office is here to help. We have office locations in Salem and Boston, but I can also meet with you via Zoom or phone. I pride myself on leaving no stone unturned when I defense my clients, and I will do everything I can to secure a desirable outcome for you. You may call or text me at 617-295-7500, or you can leave me a website message to get started!