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Armed Robbery Defense

Armed Robbery, considered one of Georgia's "Seven Deadly Sins." Armed Robbery is defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-8-41 and, as "Seven Deadly" indicates, it is one of the most serious crimes in Georgia. 

Any charge of Armed Robbery must be taken incredibly seriously and you should not take on one of these cases without the assistance of an attorney. Throughout the state of Georgia armed robbery carries significant penalties.

What Does "Seven-Deadly" Mean?

Again, in Georgia there are seven crimes that are distinct from all of the others crimes. As you can tell by the list, Georgia does not play around when it comes to armed robbery. 

  1. Murder
  2. Aggravated Sexual Battery
  3. Aggravated Child Molestation
  4. Aggravated Sodomy
  5. Kidnapping
  6. Rape
  7. Murder
  8. Armed Robbery

These charges are different than other crimes because, upon conviction, the defendant generally must serve every day of his sentence and is not eligible for parole.

What Does the law Say About Armed Robbery - 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. The offense of robbery by intimidation shall be a lesser included offense in the offense of armed robbery.

A person convicted of the offense of armed robbery shall be punished by death or imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years.

The preceding provisions of this Code section notwithstanding, in any case in which the defendant commits armed robbery and in the course of the commission of the offense such person unlawfully takes a controlled substance from a pharmacy or a wholesale druggist and intentionally inflicts bodily injury upon any person, such facts shall be charged in the indictment or accusation and, if found to be true by the court or if admitted by the defendant, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 15 years.

As used in this subsection, the term:

"Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V as defined by Georgia law. 

"Pharmacy" means any place licensed in accordance with Chapter 4 of Title 26 wherein the possessing, displaying, compounding, dispensing, or retailing of drugs may be conducted, including any and all portions of any building or structure leased, used, or controlled by the licensee in the conduct of the business licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy at the address for which the license was issued. The term pharmacy shall also include any building, warehouse, physician's office, or hospital used in whole or in part for the sale, storage, or dispensing of any controlled substance.

"Wholesale druggist" means an individual, partnership, corporation, or association registered with the State Board of Pharmacy under Chapter 4 of Title 26.

Any person convicted under this Code section shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7. 

What Does All Of This Mean?

Armed robbery is generally not a complicated concept. Armed Robbery can be committed in several way, but the general idea is that one person, using a weapon, or something looking like a weapon, takes property from someone else intending to keep it for themselves. 

Example 1

Example 1 is a classic armed robbery scenario. In this situation a man (we'll call him Robby) approaches another person (we'll call him Victor) as Victor is loading groceries into his car. Robby pulls a gun out of his pocket and presses it against Victor's back while he is loading those groceries. Robby demands Victor's wallet and Victor hands the wallet over. Robby then gets into his car and flees.

Example 2

In Example two we will go back to Robby and Victor. This situation is a little different. In this case, Victor is at the drive-thru at his bank making a withdrawal from the ATM. While he is withdrawing his money, Robby approaches from his vehicle's passenger side and produces the knife. While showing the knife to Victor, Robby demands all of the cash from the withdrawal. Victor hands the money over and Robby flees into the night. 

Example 3

On this day victor stops at his local gas station and runs inside to buy some lotto tickets and a sports drink. While inside shopping, Robby enters the building and puts a gun in the face of the store clerk and demands all of the money. The store clerk hands over the cash and Victor flees. In this case, Robby committed armed robbery of the store clerk. 


A person convicted of the offense of armed robbery shall be punished by death or imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years.

As you can see the Georgia Legislature had determined that armed robbery can be punished in several ways:

  1. Death - Although the death penalty is statutorily authorized as a punishment for armed robbery, the Georgia Supreme Court has stepped in and determined otherwise. Back in 1974, Chief Justice Grice authored an opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court and held that a convicted defendant may not be put to death for armed robbery. 
  2. Life - The Georgia Legislature has also authorized a life sentence for armed robbery convictions in Georgia. If a defendant is convicted of armed robbery in the Coweta Judicial Circuit or anywhere else, then they may be sentenced to life in prison. In this scenario the defendant would be eligible to be released on parole after serving thirty years. 
  3. Ten - Twenty - Finally, and more commonly, is ten to twenty. A defendant may also be sentence to serve a term of imprisonment between ten and twenty years. The big thing in this scenario is that the defendant who is sentenced to between ten and twenty will not be eligible for parole on his or her sentence and must serve every single day of the imprisonment term of his sentence. 
  4. Pharmacist - The minimum punishment for armed robbery is increased to fifteen years where the defendant commits armed robbery on a pharmacy, takes a controlled substance during the robbery, and causes bodily harm. All of these factors for enhancement must be specifically alleged in the indictment returned by the grand jury for this enhancement to apply. 

Contact Us

Armed robbery is absolutely no joke. Don't play around with decades (Decades!!) of your life. Contact us today, come meet Ryan, and lets your free consultation started. 


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