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Robbery in Virginia is not defined by the criminal code. Virginia Code § 18.2-58 only states how robbery is punished, a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life in prison. While Virginia does have a criminal code section, much of our criminal laws are based on what is known as “common law”, that is, the definition of a crime is passed down to us from old English courts. Under common law, robbery is simply defined as the taking of property from another person, or larceny, by force or by threat of force. The force or threat of force aspect of the crime raises robbery to a violent felony, as opposed to larceny which is not a violent felony. Anyone convicted of a violent felony in Virginia faces almost certain prison time.

Because of the seriousness of the charge, and the minimum sentence of five years, if convicted, someone charged with robbery is usually held without bond pending their preliminary hearing and trial. To put it bluntly, the stakes are high for anyone facing a robbery charge. You will need experienced defense counsel to guide you through the litigation process. Garrett Law Group, PLC is ready to help you.


Carjacking is a specific type of robbery offense in Virginia. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-58.1 anyone convicted of carjacking faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Carjacking is defined as the intentional seizure of a motor vehicle of another by force or intimidation with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive them of the use of that vehicle.

Penalties for Robbery In Virginia

As a violent felony, anyone who is convicted of a robbery charge is facing almost certain prison time. The sentencing range for robbery is 5 years to life; for carjacking, the range is 15 years to life. If someone is convicted of robbery with a firearm, there is additional mandatory sentence of three to five years imposed. If there are any physical injuries or death caused during the robbery, there is the likelihood of additional felony charges such as malicious wounding or felony murder.

You may be charged with more than one count of robbery, depending on the number of alleged victims. If the robbery involved three alleged victims, you may be charged with three counts of robbery, each carrying the five year minimum sentence, for a total of 15 years. If the crime is alleged to have been with a firearm, there would be an additional three counts for the firearm, each having any additional mandatory minimum sentence of three to five years.

How Can A Norfolk Criminal Lawyer Help?

The Commonwealth Attorney must prove each and every element of a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. To get a conviction for robbery they must prove:

* You took property belonging to someone else

* The property was taken from the person or in their presence

* You used force or intimidation

A knowledgeable Norfolk criminal lawyer who is an expert at finding the holes in the Commonwealth’s case can help raise doubts in the minds of the judge or jury hearing the case. Contact an experienced Norfolk criminal defense attorney to help you defend your robbery charge.