Athens, Ga. – A robbery was reported last night in Athens. Police are still searching for the suspects that allegedly held up an auto parts store.
Lt. John Radford stated that the robbery occurred just after 9:00 PM. Two men wearing surgical masks entered the store. One of the men pulled out a firearm and demanded money from the cash register. According to other municipalities, there have been reports of similar robberies at other auto parts stores across North Georgia.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I notice every detail when reading the news about crimes in the state of Georgia. A minor detail about how this incident was reported was when it was referred to as a robbery. There is a small difference between the offenses of robbery and armed robbery, but it is impactful, to say the least. The use of a weapon such as the firearm used in the incident above is what escalates this offense. See the law below.
Robbery and Armed Robbery in Georgia
Robbery in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-8-40 as:
A person commits robbery when they take property from another person or the immediate presence of another person with the intent to commit theft.
There are technically three ways that a robbery can be carried out. Through use of force, through intimidation, threat, or placing the other person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury to himself or another, or by sudden snatching.
Robbery is classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalties can include a prison sentence for a period of one to twenty years. However, the consequences for robbing a person aged 65 or older increases the prison term to no less than five years and no more than twenty.
Armed robbery in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-8-41 as:
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 have the appearance of such weapon.
Armed robbery is classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalties for an armed robbery conviction are severe. A conviction of Armed Robbery carries a potential sentence of ten to twenty years in prison with the very minimum being ten years in prison with no early release. Prison terms for life are another common penalty for Armed Robbery. The most severe penalty in Georgia for Armed Robbery is the death penalty.
As you can see – although the detail is minor, the consequences of a robbery conviction compared to an armed robbery conviction are huge. If you or a loved one has been arrested, call our offices today.