Defending Armed Robbery Charges
Despite the seriousness of the crime, robbery cases are often defensible. Though liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and other small businesses are equipped with video cameras, the quality of these video recordings is sometimes so poor that a definitive identification of the accused from the video alone is not possible. In many cases, therefore, the prosecution’s case hinges on eyewitness testimony – and eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. The difference between an acquittal and a conviction will often depend on the cross-examination skills of the lawyer. In his best-selling book, Relentless Criminal Cross-Examination, Attorney Mahoney devotes an entire chapter to teaching lawyers how to effectively cross-examine eyewitnesses.
Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Kevin J. Mahoney has obtained acquittals for a man indicted for armed robbery (who had been positively identified through mug shots by two witnesses) and a woman charged with robbing a bank (a witness took down her license plate number, the exploding dye pack splattered purple ink throughout the interior of her car, and she confessed).
Armed Robbery (G.L. c. 265, §17)
The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, armed with a dangerous weapon, robbed, stole or took money or other property, from another person in his presence. A conviction is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years; however, if the defendant committed the crime while masked or disguised or while having his features artificially distorted, a first offense is punishable by imprisonment for not less than five years and for any subsequent offence for not less than ten years; if the defendant committed the robbery while armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon, a conviction is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 15 years.
Unarmed Robbery (G.L. c. 265, §19)
The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant robbed, stole or took by force and/or violence money or other property while in the presence of another. A conviction is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment for not less than two years.
Commonwealth vs. J.H., Cambridge District Court
Armed Robbery – Dismissed
Larceny from a Person — Dismissed after period of probation
A juvenile and a young man (our client) wearing masks approached an individual and demanded his marijuana and money. A witness called the police, who caught the individuals as they fled the area. By persuading the District Attorney’s Office that the defendant had behaved uncharacteristically and had a bright future, Attorney Mahoney secured the dismissal of the charges following a period of probation.
Commonwealth vs. C.C., Cambridge Superior Court
Accessory After Fact to Bank Robbery — Not Guilty
A Hispanic male robbed the Stoneham Savings Bank by indicating he had gun beneath shirt. Fleeing the bank with the cash, he got into a getaway car driven by the Defendant. The dye pack exploded and he began throwing money out the window of car while the Defendant drove the car away from scene. Eight days later police arrest the man on an unrelated charge. The man implicated the Defendant, and police arrest her five days later. She told police she had no idea that the man planned to rob bank and that, following the robbery, he threatened to kill her if she “ran her mouth.”
Commonwealth vs. G.R., Cambridge Superior Court
Armed Robbery – Not Guilty
Two eyewitnesses separately selected the Defendant’s photo from mug shot books, and positively identified him in court. Attorney Mahoney severely undermined each witness’s credibility by juxtaposing their original descriptions of the assailant against their courtroom descriptions to obtain a not guilty verdict for the Defendant.
Call the Mahoney Criminal Defense Group at 617-492-0055 to schedule a free in-office consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.