In Maryland, robbery is the taking of property from another by force or threat of force. Armed robbery is where a dangerous weapon, such as a handgun, was used in the commission of a robbery. Robbery is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Armed robbery carries a potential sentence of 20 years.
When a person thinks about robbery, it’s not unusual to envision a scenario where a person in a mask, holding a gun, demands money or property from a hapless victim. While that scenario is indeed an armed robbery, it is not the most common type of robbery. A more common type of robbery is where a group of kids assault another youth and take his phone or other items of value. Add in the fact that one of these youths was holding a large branch, and now all the kids are charged with armed robbery because a large tree branch can be viewed as a deadly weapon. In short, what constitutes robbery can vary depending upon the facts of each case. Armed robbery, it should be clear, is not limited to the use of a gun or knife in the commission of a robbery.
There are many defenses to robbery. The most common defense involves identification of the actual perpetrator. Perhaps the robbery happened so quickly that the alleged victim didn’t really have an opportunity to actually see who assaulted them and took their property. Police officers also routinely use “show-ups” as a means of identification. A “show-up” is an identification procedure in which the police present a single suspect to an eyewitness and then ask them if the suspect is the perpetrator. Unduly suggestive show-ups can be grounds for excluding the witness’ identification. Further, when several individuals are charged in a robbery the State has to prove that each had a part in the robbery, or that each conspired to rob the victim. Thorough cross-examinations of the State’s witnesses can lead to reasonable doubt and that’s all you need to get an acquittal. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help.