Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyers For General And Armed Robbery Charges
Maryland general and armed robbery charges can land you and your future in hot water – fast.
Protect your interests from those that would steal them with JC Law to make sure charges don’t steamroller you to years behind bars.
What Is The Difference Between General And Armed Robbery Charges In Maryland?
In Maryland, robbery is when an item is unlawfully and forcefully taken from another person without the intent of returning it. Armed robbery is charged when an individual is equipped with a weapon to threaten or commit violence during the robbery.
For an interesting example of robbery, you may have heard someone exclaim, “That’s highway robbery!” to indicate the price is too high.
As a matter of fact, highway robberies were a frequent fact of life in the 1800s when stagecoaches, steamboats, and trains were popular. Masked robbers would force their way onto the vehicle, then stealing the travelers’ goods – often at gunpoint.
These individuals were (armed) robbers, not thieves, because they stole property from their victims using violence threatened with firearms.
Armed robbery can also be committed if the individual indicates to the alleged victim that they have a weapon, even if they don’t actually possess it.
So, a defendant accused of robbing a bank might have armed robbery charges if they slid a piece of paper to the teller that has “I have a gun” written on it.
If you must pick between a rock and a hard place, then chose general robbery charges over armed robbery charges. As a rule, sentences increase dramatically when weapons get involved in criminal cases.
What About Robbery Versus Theft? What’s The Difference There?
Both robbery and theft take something from someone else with the intention of never returning it – stealing it – but how the item is taken varies.
Theft could be something such as shoplifting, where store merchandise is simply taken off the shelves without payment. Theft charges could also cover stealing from someone’s lunchbox, as petty as that is.
However, for a defendant to be accused of robbery, there must be some sort of force, violent act, or threat involved. Stealing someone’s wallet at gun point could be considered a robbery, or yanking a purse off of someone’s shoulder.
Even if the defendant did not really intend to harm the alleged victim, just the mere threat of doing so to force the theft could elevate the charges from theft to robbery.
What Are Possible Sentences For General Robbery Or Armed Robbery Convictions In Maryland?
Both general and armed robbery in Maryland are felony crimes, giving you the criminal record that goes along with every convicted felon.
For general robbery, a sentence can run up to 15 years in jail plus restitution – repayment – to the victim.
Armed robbery is the same, with up to 20 years in jail.
How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help With Robbery Charges?
Robbery charges can be difficult to defeat since they often involve an actual committed criminal act – unlike burglary, which can be charged on intent but not action.
However, a great criminal defense team with experience in robbery charges can attack flaws in a prosecutor’s case at several possible angles.
For example, if an individual was “under duress” or basically forced to commit the crime by someone else, should they be charged with the robbery? Or, is it the fault of the individual who threatened them?
What about if they were tricked (“entrapped”) by law enforcement into a false confession?
And – this situation is one of the simplest and most often – is prosecution sure they have the correct individual who actually committed the robbery?
There have been times when eyewitnesses are unreliable, video footage fuzzy, and strong alibis available that can disprove a seemingly foolproof case.
You’ll have to talk with a criminal defense lawyer to see if any of these defenses could work in your specific situation, of course. They’ll be able to assess your case from a legal standpoint and offer a roadmap as to how they would proceed to protect you and your reputation from jail.
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