Prince George’s County Armed Robbery Lawyer
Robbery on its own is a serious felony-level charge in Maryland’s criminal courts. But when a defendant is alleged to have used a weapon in the course of this crime, the penalties become much more severe. In addition, if this weapon is a firearm, Maryland law requires courts to sentence guilty defendants to lengthy prison sentences upon conviction.
It is essential that individuals who are facing charges of armed robbery provide themselves with every possible advantage. Hiring a Prince George’s County armed robbery lawyer could be a step in the right direction. Attorneys work to defend individuals against both the idea that they committed a robbery at all and against the allegation that they used a weapon to commit this crime. Those who have been charged with robbery should work with a determined robbery attorney that could build a solid defense for them.
Simple Robbery vs. Armed Robbery
At the core of any robbery charge is the idea that the defendant used force, or the threat of it, to steal anything of value from another person. This can include money, property, real estate, cars, or even services. The key concept here is the idea of force.
If a defendant is alleged to have walked out on a bill in a restaurant while telling the waiter that they will knock the waiter out if asked to pay, this counts as a theft of services through the threat of force. It is also important to note that the defendant in the case does not need to succeed in their theft. As with any other crime, the attempt is enough to warrant an arrest and a conviction.
According to Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-402, this simple form of robbery is a felony. A conviction can result in a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and an order to pay back the value of anything stolen. However, the presence of a dangerous weapon, or any indication that a robber has a dangerous weapon, increase the potential penalties.
According to Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-403, robbery aided by the use of a weapon increases the potential sentence to 20 years in prison. Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §4-101 includes as dangerous weapons:
- Pepper spray
In addition to the enhanced penalties that accompany robbery with these items, carrying these items can also be a crime in and of itself. Further, the commission of a robbery with a firearm can also bring additional charges.
The Use of Firearms in a Robbery
Courts issue the most severe punishments to defendants convicted of committing a robbery with a firearm. Not only is this a classic example of armed robbery, but Maryland law also makes it a separate crime for an individual to commit a felony with the aid of a firearm.
According to Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §4-204 courts are required to sentence guilty parties to no less than five years after a jury finds them guilty of using a firearm to help commit a felony. Of course, this includes robbery. Therefore, a defendant who is guilty of armed robbery with a firearm will be sentenced to at least five years in prison in addition to any sentence handed down for the robbery itself. A Prince George’s County armed robbery lawyer could attempt to disprove the presence of a weapon, weakening the prosecution’s case.
Talking to a Prince George’s County Armed Robbery Attorney
People who are facing charges of robbery have enough to be concerned about. But when prosecutors allege that the robbery was aided by the use of a deadly weapon, the potential penalties become much more serious. Even worse, if a defendant is alleged to have used a firearm in the attempt, there are mandatory minimum sentences that follow any conviction.
A Prince George’s County armed robbery lawyer understands the high stakes at play in these cases. They handle every person’s case on an individual basis to provide them with the best possible defense.
Whether this defense is focused on combating the idea that there was a weapon present at the scene, or on defeating the robbery charges altogether, a lawyer is ready to fight for you. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.