Montgomery County Robbery Lawyer
Many people in Montgomery County use the terms theft, stealing, and robbery as if they mean the same thing. But under Maryland law, robbery is a much more serious crime than other theft crimes because it involves the use or threat of force. And armed robbery is penalized even more severely.
So, if you are facing robbery charges, it is wise to talk to a Montgomery County robbery lawyer as soon as possible. Let an experienced defense attorney begin collecting and preserving evidence and you could learn how to protect your rights and work toward the best possible outcome in your case.
How Robbery Differs from Other Theft Crimes
Basic theft, sometimes referred to as larceny, as defined under section 7-104 of the Maryland criminal code as deliberately obtaining or taking control of someone else’s property either with the intent to deprive the owner of that property, or with the knowledge that the taking will effectively deprive the owner of the use of that property.
For instance, if an individual removed a bike from another person’s front porch and either sold it to someone else or rode it for a while and then hid it in a park, that would be considered theft of the bicycle.
By contrast, while robbery also involves the intentional taking of someone else’s property, that property must be either carried on the person (like a wallet in a pocket) or near that person, and the property is obtained through the use of force or threatened use of force.
Use of Force
If instead of being removed from an unoccupied porch, the bike is taken from the rider by someone who threatens harm if the rider does not hand it over, then the crime would be considered a robbery.
Because the use or potential use of force is involved, robbery is considered a violent crime and it is defined in a different section of the criminal code than theft. Section 3-401 of the Maryland criminal statutes specify that robbery retains its traditional definition and also includes situations where someone gains services from another by force or the threat of force.
For a taking to constitute robbery, it must be proven that the person taking the property or service intended to withhold the property:
- Long enough to appropriate some of that property’s value
- Until the owner pays ransom or reward
- By disposing of it in a way that makes it unlikely the owner will recover it.
Armed Robbery is a Separate Statutory Offense Under Maryland Law
Just as robbery is a more serious offense than basic theft crimes, armed robbery is a more serious crime than simple robbery. A person commits armed robbery when taking actions that constitute robbery while either using a dangerous weapon or showing a note proclaiming that the person has a dangerous weapon. (Md. Crim. Law §3-403.)
Both robbery and armed robbery are considered felony offenses in Maryland. Those convicted of armed robbery face up to 20 years in prison while those convicted of robbery may be sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment. Of course, a felony conviction involves a host of unwanted additional consequences as well. This is why it is imperative for defendants to obtain the services of a MoCo robbery lawyer.
Reach Out to a Montgomery County Robbery Attorney
Courts treat certain offenses differently in various jurisdictions. So, when you are facing a serious criminal charge such as robbery or armed robbery, you want to work with an attorney who not only knows the Maryland laws on the subject but who also understands which defensive strategies work best in court.
Contact a skilled Montgomery County robbery lawyer today to begin taking the first step toward a possible positive outcome in your case. For a free consultation to learn how an attorney could help, call today.