At Houlon Berman, we have over 50 years of experience representing clients in criminal matters all over the State of Maryland including Upper Marlboro, Rockville and also in D.C. We take pride in the results we obtain for our clients and can assist you in any criminal case, regardless of the charges, due to our experienced and dedicated attorneys. Our approach starts with full investigation of the facts of your case in consideration of the elements of the offense and with an eye toward obtaining the best possible results for you. The elements of every offense with which you are charged are described at trial for the jury in the form of a jury instruction such as:
In every robbery case, the prosecution bears the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is always on the prosecution and never the client, plus the jury’s verdict must be unanimous. Robbery is a felony offense and conviction can lead to lengthy prison terms, a permanent criminal record, voting restrictions, and the inability to own firearms. A felony conviction can also dramatically impair your ability to find employment.
The elements of every offense with which you are charged are described at trial for the jury in the form of a jury instruction such as:
Types of Robbery Charges
Strong Armed or Simple Robbery
Robbery is a theft from a person coupled with the use or threat of force. The maximum sentence for robbery in Maryland is 15 years in prison. If the situation involves serious violence or assault, the prosecutor may wish to pursue additional charges which can significantly lengthen the possible sentence.
Important Note: Maryland criminal law treats attempted robbery and robbery equally, so even a failed attempt can result in serious felony charges and a sentence of up to 15 years.
In order to prove the offense of Robbery, the State must prove the following elements of the offense:
(1) that the defendant took the property from an individual;
(2) that the defendant took the property by force or threat of force; and
(3) that the defendant intended to deprive the individual of the property.
Maryland Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3-403 defines armed robbery (called Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in Maryland) as a robbery committed with a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, knife, or any type of instrument that can cause death or serious bodily harm.
A person can also be charged with armed robbery if he displays a note claiming to possess a dangerous weapon, even if it was not used or if he did not actually have a weapon or even when a toy gun is displayed. The maximum sentence for armed robbery is 20 years in prison. If the weapon employed was a handgun, additional charges will be filed for use of a handgun during a crime of violence. These charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years without parole and a maximum of 20 years, in addition to the Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon charge.
In order to prove the offense of Armed Robbery, the State must prove the following elements of the offense
(1) that the defendant took the property from an individual;
(2) that the defendant took the property by force or threat of force;
(3) that the defendant intended to deprive the individual of the property; and
(4) that the defendant used a dangerous weapon in the commission of the act.
According to Maryland Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3-405, carjacking includes the hijacking of a motor vehicle from the individual possessing it by using force, violence, or intimidation. The penalty for robbery carjacking is up to 30 years imprisonment.
In order to prove the offense of Carjacking, the State must prove the following elements of the offense:
(1) that the defendant obtained unauthorized possession or control of a motor vehicle;
(2) that the motor vehicle was in the actual possession of another person at that time; and
(3) that the defendant used force or violence against that person or put that person in fear, through intimidation or threat of force or violence, in order to obtain the motor vehicle.
If you have been charged with any form of robbery in DC or Maryland, an experienced lawyer will use a variety of strategies to defend you. Frequently in these cases, such defenses involve attacking the accuracy of the identification and lack of corroborating evidence such as fingerprints, DNA or other scientific evidence. For further information about cases where the Identification of the person charged is an issue, please click here to see our Identification page and a sample brief where Identification issues were argued on appeal.
The scientific and legal question of the accuracy of eyewitness identification is often very important in these cases and is a subject of frequent study at Houlon Berman.
If the evidence provided by the prosecution is likely to result in a conviction, an experienced attorney can negotiate and arrange the best possible plea agreement to decrease or even eliminate prison sentences. Making a plea agreement can sometimes lead to a significantly better result. Your attorney is required by law to advise you of any and all plea offers made to you and to discuss those offers with you.
In many cases, the prosecution will overcharge a second degree assault or theft and charge robbery. A knowledgeable robbery defense attorney can comb through the evidence and fight to have the felony robbery charge reduced to lesser misdemeanor charges carrying lower penalties and shorter potential prison sentences. There may be other options depending on the specifics of your case. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible will ensure there is adequate time to examine the evidence and develop an effective defense.
In Maryland, many robbery cases go to trial, while others reach a resolution in lieu of trial. At Houlon Berman, we take each and every robbery case one by one with an eye toward achieving the best possible result for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys at Houlon Berman have broad experience representing clients successfully in robbery cases in Upper Marlboro and Rockville as well as D.C. and throughout Maryland.. Our success derives from our uncompromising commitment to our clients, and hard work.
If you have a robbery case in Upper Marlboro, Hyattsville, Bowie, Greenbelt, College Park, Laurel, Rockville, Bethesda, Silver Spring, or anywhere else in the State of Maryland, please contact us.