Robbery is taking something from someone else with violence. It is distinguished from larceny , shoplifting , or other theft crimes by the use of violence. There are two types of Robbery. Armed Robbery and Strong Arm Robbery. Armed Robbery means armed with a deadly weapon, 16-11-330 such as a pistol or knife. Armed Robbery carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in South Carolina and up to 30 years. You must serve 85% of that sentence in prison. In other words you must serve at least 8.5 years in prison. Strong Arm Robbery is stealing something by physical force; for example a mugging, 16-11-325.
Strong Arm Robbery only carries 0-15 years in prison and you are eligible for parole. Therefore, unless you have an experienced attorney, you may face many more years in prison than you had to if your attorney does not aggressively see that you are charged with the right offense. All too often innocent people are charged with robbery because of misidentification. Eyewitness identification is in fact not as reliable as police and prosecutors would like the public to think. This is especially true when a person from one race tries to identify a person from another race. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows what experts to hire to make sure that the identification procedures that were used were reliable. Too many police officers are using outdated lineup procedures that often mean innocent people are charged with robbery. Criminal Defendants are often incorrectly charged with robbery. The police overcharge defendants by charging them with armed robbery when there is not a deadly weapon involved and the defendant should in fact be charged with Strong Arm Robbery or possibly even larceny , shoplifting , or purse snatching . You need an aggressive attorney to make sure you are not overcharged.