Popular Atlanta restaurant, Fellini’s Pizza, was recently robbed at gunpoint. Two men walked into the establishment on McClendon Avenue, entering from different doors. According to the police report, they pointed guns at the employees and ordered them to lie on the floor. An employee was, unfortunately, hit by one of the robbers with a pistol. The surveillance cameras weren’t working at the time and no arrests have been made at this time. However, when the suspects are caught, they will be facing armed robbery charges and some hard time behind bars if convicted. Armed robbery is considered a serious, violent felony in the state of Georgia. Let’s take a look.
ARMED ROBBERY UNDER GEORGIA LAW
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §16-8-41(a), 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. The offense of robbery by intimidation is a lesser included offense in the offense of armed robbery.
PENALTY FOR ARMED ROBBERY UNDER GEORGIA LAW
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §16-8-41(b), a person convicted of the offense of armed robbery will be punished by death or imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years.
ROBBERY UNDER GEORGIA LAW
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A.
§16-8-40(a), a person commits the offense of robbery when, with intent to
commit theft, he takes property of another from the person or the immediate
presence of another:
(1) By use of force;
(2) By intimidation, by the use of threat or coercion, or by placing such person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury to himself or to another; or,
(3) By sudden snatching.
PENALTY FOR ROBBERY UNDER GEORGIA LAW
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §16-8-41(b), a person convicted of the offense of robbery will be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.
ARMED ROBBERY & GEORGIA CASE LAW
In the case Eady v. State, 182 Ga. App. 293 (1987), each appellant maintained that he was entitled to directed verdicts on all counts but especially on the armed robbery counts, for lack of any evidence. One of the victims testified that she was asleep on her couch when she was awakened by a feeling of being suffocated. A sheet from her son’s bed had been placed over her face, her legs were being held, and someone was whispering in her ear to be quiet or they would kill her children. Two men led her into the bedroom and took turns raping her and then asked for money and any guns in the house. The men were convicted on multiple charges, including armed robbery.
On appeal, the Court affirmed the appellant’s conviction and sentence. “The term `offensive weapon’ includes not only weapons which are offensive per se, such as firearms loaded with live ammunition, [but] also embraces other instrumentalities not normally considered to be offensive weapons in and of themselves but which may be found by a jury to be likely to produce death or great bodily injury depending on the manner and means of their use.” Hambrick v. State, 174 Ga. App. 444, 445 (1) (330 SE2d 383) (1985).”
The Court continued, “There was evidence that the pillow was used in such a manner as might have produced death or great bodily injury, i.e., by suffocation. While such things as a fist, a stick, a beer bottle, or a shoe are not per se deadly weapons, it is generally a jury question, under all the circumstances surrounding the way they are used. Hambrick v. State, 174 Ga. App. 444, supra; Meminger v. State, 160 Ga. App. 509 (287 SE2d 296) (1981) (overruled on a different point); Quarles v. State, 130 Ga. App. 756 (204 SE2d 467) (1974); Williams v. State, 127 Ga. App. 386 (193 SE2d 633) (1972). Here we cannot say as a matter of law that the way the pillow and sheets were used could not make them into deadly weapons.”
DEFENSES AGAINST AN ARMED ROBBERY OFFENSE
No Weapon Was Used: For a person to be accused of armed robbery, the use of a weapon is required to satisfy the elements of the statute. There must be evidence that a weapon or the appearance of a weapon was used. If the accused can provide prove that no weapon was used, then the charged of armed robbery could likely be reduced to assault or battery.
Lack of Intent: Under the statute, to satisfy the charge of armed robbery, the accused must have intended to commit theft and take the property of another. If the accused can provide prove that the property belonged to him or her, then the charged of armed robbery could possibly be dismissed.
Innocence/Alibi: If the accused has an alibi and can provide proof (i.e. witnesses) that he or she did not commit the crime, then an innocence claim may be successful against an armed robbery charge.
CONTACT BIXON LAW TODAY
If you have been charged with armed robbery, give Bixon Law a call today to speak to one of our experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyers. We will vigorously defend your legal rights and advocate on your behalf to have your case dismissed or the charges against you reduced. As experienced trial attorneys, we are also not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. We represent clients in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. We are lawyers who are committed to helping people in difficult situations and we invite you to call us at 404-551-5684 for a free consultation today.