What is considered robbery in Maryland?
When facing a robbery charge in Maryland, an experienced robbery attorney can help you navigate what can be a complicated legal system.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, if found guilty of robbery, you can face a felony conviction and up to 15 years imprisonment. Robbery is the taking and carrying away of property from someone else by force or threat of force, with the intent to deprive the victim of the property.
This means the prosecution must prove that you intended to keep the property from the victim permanently, or you only meant to return the property upon receipt of some type of compensation. Property is anything of value, and examples include, but are not limited to, money, written documents or data, pets, utilities, food, and electronic equipment.
Armed robbery is comprised of the same elements as robbery, but with the use of a dangerous weapon, such as a knife or firearm. The associated penalties for a guilty verdict on armed robbery are felony conviction and up to 20 years in prison.
Theft vs Robbery
Theft and robbery are commonly mistaken for the same thing. However, theft (or larceny) is an entirely different charge than robbery in the state of Maryland. The distinction between the two is determined by the act of the individual accused. It is important to understand the difference between the two, and the penalties that are associated with each charge. Here are the highlights of each individual charge:
Theft involves the taking of personal property without force, and is normally performed without the knowledge of the victim with no assault/battery occurring. Theft can be a petty crime, but depending on the value of what you steal, can lead up to decades in prison. Defendants may also be required to return what was stolen, or pay back the value of the item. Here are the monetary values, and the penalties associated with the theft:
- Theft of less than $100 is a misdemeanor crime in the state of Maryland. This crime can result in up to 90 days in jail and/of a $500 fine.
- Theft of less than $1,000 is considered a misdemeanor crime in the State of Maryland. The penalty for theft of less than $1,000 is up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $500.
- Theft of $1,000-$10,000 crosses a legal threshold, and is considered a felony in the state of Maryland. This crime can result in up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Theft of $10,000 – $100,000 is considered a felony in the state of Maryland. This penalty can result in up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
- Theft of more than $100,000 is the most serious of theft charges. This crime is considered a felony, and can result in up to 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Robbery usually involves the taking of property/money with the use of force. This can mean the defendant used a weapon, or just gave the victim a feeling that they might be harmed if they did not comply. The penalty for robbery normally depends on if the defendant used a weapon to assist in the robbery. A robbery where the defendant was not armed can result in up to 15 years in prison. However, if the defendant was armed, the penalty can rise up to a sentence of 20 years in prison. If the defendant fires a weapon, attempted murder charges could be brought on the individual.
Carjacking is taking an individual’s motor vehicle without their permission or knowledge. According to Maryland State Code, an individual may not take possession or control of a motor vehicle from the person who possess it with the use of force/violence, or the threat to use force/violence. Carjacking is considered a felony offense, and has different penalties associated with the charge. If convicted of carjacking, the defendant can face up to 30 years in prison with a fine dependent on value.
For a more detailed explanation of these laws you can read the Maryland Official Code.