Not only is Armed Robbery a serious offense in Georgia, but Georgia is known for its heavy-handed approach when it comes to sentencing for the crime. For example, until recently one Gwinnett County Judge held the record for longest prison sentence in Georgia history after convicting a gang of armed robbers.
According to, O.C.G.A. 16-8-41 A person commits the offense of armed robbery when, “with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device having the appearance of such weapon. This means that even if the weapon is fake, a toy, or remains concealed yet is implied during the commission of the crime, one could be guilty of armed robbery.”
Under Georgia Code § 17-10-6.1 punishment for serious violent offenses carry a minimum sentencing of 10 years. Georgia regularly sentences between 10 and 30 years. There is also the possibility of life in prison for armed robbery with a minimum served time of 30 years before probation is considered.
Further, Georgia still carries the death penalty for armed robbery, and while the death penalty has not been used in modern court cases the armed robbers from the Gwinnett case mentioned above were sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences plus 265 years, meaning the perpetrators are likely to live out the rest of their lives in prison.
Under GA law, “No person convicted of a serious violent felony shall be sentenced as a first offender.” This means that while other crimes may offer a first offenders probation incentive, armed robbery, a violent felony, offers no such incentive and minimum time will not be reduced “by any earned time, early release, work release, leave, or other sentence-reducing measures under programs administered by the Department of Corrections.”
No one should face these life-altering penalties alone. Experienced counsel can help reduce the charges or possibly have them dismissed. This is possible because the law also states that, “In the court’s discretion, the judge may depart from the mandatory minimum sentence specified …when the prosecuting attorney and the defendant have agreed to a sentence that is below such mandatory minimum.”
Because not all armed robbery is created equally experienced counsel can help if you find yourself convicted of an armed robbery. The state puts great weight on the intention of the crime, the fear inflicted on the victim, and whether a weapon was used or intended to be used. The court will consider self-defense, innocence, no weapon/no implication of a weapon, justification (when the property was actually owned by the suspect) and lack of intent as defenses to the crime of armed robbery. These elements can often be used to lessen or dismiss a harsh sentence and considering the nature of sentencing in Georgia you will need someone on your side that understands the law.