Armed Robbery Lawyer Massachusetts
Armed robbery is defined by the Massachusetts Constitution in Chapter 265 Section 17. It defines this crime as occurring whenever a person who is "armed with a dangerous weapon, assaults another and robs, steals or takes from his person money or other property." The crime can occur on the street, at a business, or in a residence. Related charges can stem from an armed robbery including assault with a deadly weapon and intimidation.
Armed robbery is considered a dangerous felony punishable with a lengthy prison sentence. When it occurs against a citizen who is over sixty years of age, the defendant may receive a term of up to 20 years. This also applies whenever armed robbery is committed with the intent to murder regardless of the victim's age. When the perpetrator enters an individual's home, the maximum sentence that can be imposed is life without parole.
When armed robbery occurs at a business, eyewitness testimony is often used to make an arrest. This testimony is often unreliable and is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions for this crime. It is often difficult for witnesses to make a positive identification because the perpetrator is masked or there are poor lighting conditions. Even so, it is often the only evidence that is available, which means it is heavily relied on by prosecutors to secure a conviction. In cases where a weapon has been fired, ballistics experts may be called on to identify the weapon used during the commission of the crime. In Massachusetts, these forensic experts are often employed by the state police, which means they may have a motive to falsify ballistics reports to make them coincide with eyewitness testimony.
An aggressive Massachusetts defense attorney can help someone accused of armed robbery by helping that individual exercise his or her Sixth Amendment rights, which guarantee the accused the opportunity to confront their accusers. Exercising this right is important because it can help uncover instances of wrongful identification or police misconduct. The ability to raise doubt in the minds of jurors can help prevent a conviction that could be devastating to a defendant's future.
Not all cases will end in an acquittal. In some instances, the evidence is solid and police have legally obtained the information they need to secure an arrest. In this instance, Massachusetts law could provide defendants the opportunity for a reduced sentence if they are willing to accept a plea bargain rather than going to court. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help his or her client weigh the evidence to make the best decision possible under the circumstances.
Those who have been questioned concerning an armed robbery have the right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions. Doing so can help prevent unlawful lines of interrogation that could lead to incriminating statements, even if an individual is innocent. Suspects who have been formally charged with armed robbery should talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights. If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation you need an attorney with a record of proven results. Rosemary Curran Scapicchio has successfully defended many clients charged with Armed Robbery in Massachusetts.