Types of Robbery Charges in Maryland and Strategies for Defense
If you or someone you love has been charged with robbery in DC or Maryland, seek the advice of an experienced robbery defense attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney is key to ensuring your rights are protected.
The Maryland Criminal code includes several types of robbery charges. Though similar to the lesser charges of burglary and theft, robbery is a felony offense and charges 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.
If you are facing robbery charges in Maryland or DC, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Houlon Berman right away.
Types of Robbery Charges
Robbery is a form of theft that includes the use or threat of force. The maximum sentence for robbery is 15 years in prison. If the situation involves violence or assault, the prosecutor may wish to pursue additional charges which can significantly lengthen the sentence.
Important Note: Maryland criminal law treats attempted robbery and robbery equally, so even a failed attempt can result in serious felony charges. An attempted robbery sentence can also result in up to 15 years imprisonment.
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. 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.
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.
If you have been charged with robbery in DC or Maryland, an experienced lawyer can use a variety of strategies to defend you. Frequently in these cases, such defenses involve a lack of strong evidence of identification and a lack of corroborating evidence such as fingerprints, DNA or other scientific evidence.
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 all else fails, the person charged may opt for a plea deal to reduce the severity of the charges.
If the evidence provided by the prosecution is likely to result in a conviction, an experienced attorney can organize a plea agreement to decrease or even eliminate prison sentences. Working with the prosecutors to reach a plea deal can save both parties time and money.
In many cases, the prosecution will overcharge a second degree assault or theft for a 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.
Contact Houlon Berman
If you are facing robbery charges in Maryland or DC, Houlon Berman can help. Our firm has over 40 years of experience providing legal counsel to those charged with robbery and our lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to craft the right defense for your case.
Don’t risk losing years of your life in prison- contact us today.