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Old 02-01-2009, 12:01 AM   #1
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For the cop/judicial types on the forum

I have an odd sort of question. I don't know if any of you can give me any info on this. But I'd appreciate any opinions. It has a particular impact on my family.

There's a guy I know who has done a number of dumb things recently. He's 25, and has been out of work for a year, evicted from his apartment, behind on his child support payments. As a finale, from what we understand, and we don't have all the details, he has been arrested and charged with robbery. We think he and another idjit robbed a restaurant employee trying to get the night deposits. The guy didn't have the money, so they took his wallet, watch, and cell phone. We believe a knife might have been involved.

Long story short, he got caught. I think he was using the cell phone. My question is, do people who commit crimes of this sort pretty much always get jail time? Or is he likely to get probation? It's a first offence from a judicial system POV.

I'd be very interested to hear what you think, especially thoae of you with experience in this kind of thing. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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My guess would be if he did use a weapon(knife) then it's "armed" robbery and he'll likely spend time in jail. If he pleads guilty, maybe he can get just probation but I doubt it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:31 AM   #3
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We're not sure if he was the one with the knife. I'm not sure how much difference that would make.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:49 AM   #4
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Since I'm just a volunteer cop, I only know enough to be dangerous....

Has his bail been posted at the jail? If so, he should have been given papers telling him when he has to go to court. If this is the case, he could be a free man for a while depending on the backlog.

As far as time that he may have to serve...I don't know. It may just depend on the judge and how he/she sees it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:54 AM   #5
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We're not sure if he was the one with the knife. I'm not sure how much difference that would make.
It doesn't matter if he's the one who had the knife. If he was there he's equally responsible.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:00 AM   #6
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Yes, he's out on bail, he's had his bond hearing, and his court date (first one?) is set for June. This is in VA, which is a hard@ss state, but I know there's all sorts of flexibility in the system. In many ways I wouldn't mind seeing him go down, but I aso hate to see anyone ruin their life with such stupidity. I guess I'm just sort of wondering what the odds will be.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:37 AM   #7
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FWIW my guess is something like 90/10 he is going to serve time in VA. He probably has nothing to "deal" with so, no plea bargain. Other than pleading guilty it sounds like he has no chance at probation (except maybe after doing some time) but who knows. A quick guilty plea will allow the DA to clear the case quickly, with a lower cost to the Commonwealth. My "police" credentials are really old so I could be far off.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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There are a number of things we don't know about the incident presented, and if he is truly a first offender then the odds of getting probation go up significantly depending on the how the DA, the judge, the jury, and the complainant feel about it all. Here in "hang-em-high" Texas I've seen first offenders get the max on first offense Aggravated Robbery and similar defendants in similar circumstances get probation.

If I was a betting man, and I am, I'm betting he does time. Mostly because he was apparently something of a mess before this incident, he probably does not have the cash to pay for a pit bull defense attorney, and (if it is a first offense) the DA will probably give him a low ball offer of a couple years or so. I'm thinking he might go for it rather than face a judge/jury who might send him off to the slam for a long time.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but the whole Criminal Justice thing is not exactly an exact science on its best day.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:05 AM   #9
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It has a particular impact on my family.
If possible, distance your family from this guy. I've known drug addicts, thieves and just plain violent types. Eventually, they will try to take you for what they can get. You can not change them - they have to get back on track themselves. If you must help this person point them to organizations that can help them.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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It also depends on what part of VA this happened in. Northern VA (much more liberal and where he might get probation) is an entirely different state than southern VA, where he will almost certainly be nailed to the cross.

It can also depend on whether the judge had a fight with his/her spouse that morning, the phase of the moon, tides, and astrology.

That said, depending on the level of threats and force used, I'd guess he's going to do at least six months to two years, perhaps more. There's no getting around the fact that it's an armed robbery and the courts generally do not take kindly to that.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:36 AM   #11
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If possible, distance your family from this guy. I've known drug addicts, thieves and just plain violent types. Eventually, they will try to take you for what they can get. You can not change them - they have to get back on track themselves. If you must help this person point them to organizations that can help them.
I couldn't agree more. How is this person adding to your family's quality of life? You say he has done "a number of dumb things lately", but I'd correct that to "a number of criminal things lately".

Do you want a criminal around your family and friends? Do you really think that someone who would rob a restaurant employee with a knife (whether he was holding it himself or not) would think twice about burglarizing your home using a gun? Agh. Maybe I am too choosy about my friends, but I can guarantee you that none of them are holding up restaurants in their spare time.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #12
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It also depends on what part of VA this happened in. Northern VA (much more liberal and where he might get probation) is an entirely different state than southern VA, where he will almost certainly be nailed to the cross.
Funny. I guess it all depends on location. I used to live in Northern Virginia and work in DC. I was thinking if it happened in DC he would be charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor theft, if it happened in Northern VA they would charge him with robbery and he probably would get some jail time.

It all does depend on location though and the area prosecutors and courts.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
If I was a betting man, and I am, I'm betting he does time. Mostly because he was apparently something of a mess before this incident, he probably does not have the cash to pay for a pit bull defense attorney, and (if it is a first offense) the DA will probably give him a low ball offer of a couple years or so. I'm thinking he might go for it rather than face a judge/jury who might send him off to the slam for a long time.
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It can also depend on whether the judge had a fight with his/her spouse that morning, the phase of the moon, tides, and astrology.
Amen.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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I have an odd sort of question. I don't know if any of you can give me any info on this. But I'd appreciate any opinions. It has a particular impact on my family.

There's a guy I know who has done a number of dumb things recently. He's 25, and has been out of work for a year, evicted from his apartment, behind on his child support payments. As a finale, from what we understand, and we don't have all the details, he has been arrested and charged with robbery. We think he and another idjit robbed a restaurant employee trying to get the night deposits. The guy didn't have the money, so they took his wallet, watch, and cell phone. We believe a knife might have been involved.

Long story short, he got caught. I think he was using the cell phone. My question is, do people who commit crimes of this sort pretty much always get jail time? Or is he likely to get probation? It's a first offence from a judicial system POV.

I'd be very interested to hear what you think, especially thoae of you with experience in this kind of thing. Thanks in advance.
Alot of it depends on where the actual offense happened.

If it happened in the resteraunt then its Burglery & Robbery.
If it happened in the parking lot, then it is just robbery.


If a weapon was used than it is an escalating factor (i.e. 1st degree, 2nd degree) or it may even be another offense (i.e. robbery w/ a deadly weapon).

Listen, if the guy is convicted for any of those crimes he will do some jail time. What would concern me most is if he actually burglarized the building.

Most sex offenders have prior burglaries on their record. If they are of the criminal sort that are willing to break into a building/residence (or enter a resteraunt) with the intent to commit a felony therein..... You can bet they are unstable enough to do just about anything.

I spent a summer with the DAs office in Alabama, and at least down there any of those crimes would mean serious jail time. Regardless, anyone who is willing to commit a violent crime or use a deadly weapon is a dangerous guy. I would suggest you file a restraining order on this guy, and call the cops if he gets near you or your family.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #15
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Was the guy(victim) injured during the robbery? I would say that would eliminate almost any chance of no jail time.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:56 PM   #16
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Thanks for all your opinions, I know there's no way to tell but it's nice to hear some agreement. This is Fairfax County in Northern VA, just fyi. And the robbery was in the parking lot, not in the building. And there was no injury, just threat.

The guy is my DGDs father, although there was never a marriage to my DD. There is nothing we'd like better to do than to distance ourselves from him, but he currently has 50/50 custody (week on/week off) so we're stuck. That's the reason we wouldn't mind seeing him do some time. DD would get full physical custody, which we think would be better for the baby (3 years old). At the same time, I hate to see anyone's life ruined, and I'd hate to have to explain to the little one where Daddy is. She was already devastated once when he had her and the cops came and took him away.

We aren't even supposed to know about all this. He told DD that he "might be going to Germany for a couple years on a job". DW found out about it when she was looking something else up on the Fairfax County court system web site. We've filled in blanks by googling the local papers for crimes committed on the date shown in the court document. That's one of the things we really can't stand, he's an inveterate liar. We think he is only insisting on the joint custody situation to upset my daughter. And if he goes away for a while he'll hopefully be so busy afterwards trying to rebuild his life he won't cause too much trouble. And the little one will be in school by then so it would be harder to break her life back up.

We would never keep her from seeing him, or his parents for that matter. We would just like him out of our DD's life. So would she. Of course he won't be paying his child support while he's in jail, but he doesn't pay it now, so it's not that big a loss. Another unexpected liability for us in ER, at least until DD can get her career/life going better. Anyway, thanks for the info.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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I wouldnít worry about knowing about it, itís public record. Maybe DD can see an attorney about changing the custody arrangement now.

All the best, Harley, it's a tough one.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:34 PM   #18
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I meant that he doesn't know we know about it. We're saving acknowledging our knowledge of it for when it can do some good in court. Like if he tells the judge in the support case he is going out of the country to work, DD can ask if the DA knows about his intent to flee his bond. Or something like that.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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Reading between the lines, I think this guy also has a drug addiction. For the child's sake she could try to negotiate drug testing as a condition of visitation.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:29 AM   #20
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If your DD wanted to regain full custody an armed robbery on his part certainly would help.

DW's brother has an ex-wife (marriage lasted six weeks) with some mental stability issues, to put it mildly. He got full custody of his daughter and her sister when the ex left the two girls, then ages 10 and 14, alone in an apartment with no food and no money while she checked herself into the psychiatric ward of the hospital. We found out when the school called because the 10-year-old didn't have lunch money for a week. It's been an ongoing drama worthy of any soap opera for years.

The sad part of it is that DW's brother is a "dictionary hard working honest guy".
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