Massachusetts armed robbery charges and penalties

| Mar 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

It can be daunting anytime you’re facing criminal charges, especially since the onus falls on your shoulders to defend yourself against the prosecutor’s allegations.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265 § 17 describes how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts views armed robbery and the offenses associated with such a crime. Understanding what rises to the level of a specific offense and the penalties associated with it can help you craft a defense strategy to employ in your New Bedford case.

What falls under the umbrella of armed robbery?

In this state, any instance in which someone possessing a deadly weapon assaults someone else and takes money or other possessions from them is considered armed robbery.

The same state statute allows for enhanced penalties for carrying out such a crime while wearing a mask or another disguise. It also provides for defendants who commit a similar offense while armed with a machine gun, rifle, shotgun, or another type of assault weapon or firearm to face enhanced penalties. 

What penalties can convicted armed robbery defendants face?

The state statute mentioned above allows a defendant to be sentenced to anywhere from a few years to life in state prison upon conviction. 

Anyone who commits such an offense with their features distorted by a mask or in some other artificial way may face at least a five-year prison term for their first offense and ten or more for any subsequent one. 

Any defendant who commits the same offense while armed with a firearm or assault weapon may be sentenced to at least five years in Massachusetts state prison for their first offense or 15 or more years for any subsequent one. 

What should you know if you’re facing armed robbery charges?

Prosecutors generally don’t file charges against a defendant unless they’re reasonably confident in their ability to win their case. You’re facing some pretty serious penalties should a Massachusetts judge or jury convict you on armed robbery charges. Your future is mostly contingent upon how solid of a defense you and your attorney put up in responding to the charges you face here in New Bedford.