Bethesda Robbery Lawyer
The prospect of a robbery conviction can have devastating consequences for you and your family. Although robbery contains elements of theft, it also involves some degree of actual or threatened force or violence, which makes the potential penalties for a conviction much more severe.
If you have been accused of robbery, it is essential to understand the charges against you and the potential repercussions of such a conviction. This information can enable you to make the best decisions about your case for you and your family. A Bethesda robbery lawyer could help you comprehend and explore your alternatives and work toward a favorable resolution to your case. Contact our firm today to discuss your unique case with a dedicated theft attorney.
Defining Robbery Offenses
The criminal offense of robbery goes beyond theft to include an element of force, which elevates it to a more serious infraction. While theft involves only the unlawful taking of or exerting control over property belonging to another or services, robbery, under Md. Code Crim. Law § 3-401(e), involves a forcible taking of property or services directly from another. The direct involvement of another person in the commission of the theft also makes robbery a more severe crime than theft.
Robbery requires proof of intent to withhold property belonging to another:
- For long enough to cause loss of at least part of its value
- Until receiving a reward or compensation for the property or
- Taking some action to make it unlikely that the owner will regain the property
Property can involve virtually anything of value, including money, real estate, and items of personal property. During a private consultation, a Bethesda attorney could explain how different situations might qualify as robbery under Maryland law.
Potential Penalties for Robbery
Both committing robbery and attempting to commit robbery are felony offenses under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-402. There is no requirement that a robbery must have occurred to be convicted of attempted robbery. These offenses both carry the potential for a 15-year prison sentence.
Certain factors may aggravate a robbery charge and result in enhanced penalties upon conviction. While these offenses also are felonies, they carry the potential for longer prison sentences upon conviction. A Bethesda robbery attorney may be able to assist those who are accused of robbery in minimizing or avoiding the negative consequences that could result from a conviction.
For example, armed robbery or attempted armed robbery occurs when individuals use dangerous weapons in the commission of the offense or represent to others that they possess dangerous weapons during the offense. According to Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-403, armed robbery or attempted armed robbery is also a felony offense that may result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-405, carjacking involves using force or violence, or putting others in fear through threats of force of violence, to unlawfully take control of a motor vehicle that is in possession of another. There is no requirement under the law for the persons committing this offense to have the intent to permanently deny the owner possession of the vehicle.
The offense becomes armed carjacking when individuals use or display a gun or some other type of dangerous weapon to carry out the offense. Whether armed or not, carjacking is a felony offense that can result in a potential 30-year prison sentence.
Defending Against Robbery Charges
The first step that a Bethesda robbery attorney is likely to take in a robbery case is to interview clients and get a clear account of the events that occurred from their perspective.
Next, an attorney can request discovery from the State’s Attorney’s office, which will handle the criminal charges’ prosecution. Discovery can include copies of police reports, witness statements, video footage, and forensic evidence reports, among other types of documentary evidence.
The next step is to develop a clear defense strategy. This is likely to involve identifying the evidence that the state is using to support the criminal charges, assessing the strength of the evidence, and determining how to best fight back against the criminal charges.
Let a Bethesda Robbery Attorney Assist You
Whether the charge is robbery, armed robbery, or carjacking, the consequences can be very harsh and impact all areas of your life for years to come. Serving decades in prison and having a permanent felony record could change the course of your life forever.
For this reason, you should strongly consider consulting a Bethesda robbery lawyer if you are implicated in a robbery offense. Seasoned legal counsel could advise you of your options and help you make informed decisions about your case. Building a strong defense takes time, so do not delay. Contact us today to get started.