Proving Maryland Armed Robbery Offenses
Maryland armed robbery penalties are harsh. If the person is convicted, it is a felony. It is a crime of violence which means they have to serve 50% of the incarceration before they would be eligible for parole. A robbery with a dangerous weapon carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. There is a hefty prison sentence that could be imposed. Even prior to trial, there are serious consequences because it is very likely that bond is going to be relatively high.
Anything that can be done to get the bond reduced is beneficial because if someone is incarcerated they are not able to work and will probably lose employment and income. People have lost their homes because they were incarcerated. There are significant consequences even from just being charged, so talk to an experienced armed robbery lawyer today.
Proving an Armed Robbery Charge
The prosecutor has to provide probable cause that the robbery took place. In the judicial system, the burden of proof of probable cause is incredibly low.
That is a different burden of proof from the one that exists at a trial because at that point, when a trial is involved, the state has to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. That is one of the highest burdens of proof to be required. There is a big difference between what the state has to show in order to charge somebody versus what the state has to prove in order to get someone convicted.
An armed robbery is a felony, and that means it is going to be tried in the Circuit Court in Maryland. It will not be tried in the District Court. Felonies typically have much larger potential sentences and armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. Maryland armed robbery penalties are severe.
There are some charges that are defined under the statute as being violent crimes. Robbery and armed robbery are both defined as violent crimes. From a sentencing perspective, the defendant would have to serve 50% of the sentence before even being eligible for parole. That is very different than other crimes where parole would take place somewhere after serving about 25% of their sentence.
When it comes to proving armed robbery, there has to be enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was some sort of weapon brandished in order for Maryland armed robbery penalties to occur. However, the case law has made it clear that even if the person suggests that they have a weapon, the state does not even have to prove that the person had a weapon. If the evidence is such that the state can prove that the person pretended to brandish a weapon or indicated to the other party that they had a weapon, then that can be enough to have the defendant convicted of armed robbery.
Armed Robbery vs. Theft
A theft could be accomplished by simply taking the property of another person without their permission, without having to be in the room or in the area. A robbery is a theft which is accomplished by force or threat of force. That is the difference between a theft and a robbery.
Armed robbery in Maryland involves that additional factor of being done by force or by the threat of force. When it takes place, there is some sort of violence or the other person is put in fear that they are about to be hurt. Those are much more aggravating factors and it makes the crime more serious versus just simply taking somebody’s property.