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How Does Maryland Law Address Different Types of Robbery?

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There are four types of robbery in Maryland — robbery, armed robbery, carjacking and armed carjacking. While these four crimes have similar roots, the incarceration periods change dramatically based on the circumstances of the offense. In order to gain a firm grasp on this type of criminal offense in Maryland, the following sections will provide an overview the definitions of and penalties for robbery, armed robbery, carjacking and armed carjacking.

Maryland Definition of Robbery

Under Maryland law, it is unlawful to obtain or take possession of another person’s property using force or threat of force. If the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force to deprive the true owner of possession, then it becomes a robbery crime. The same applies to the use of force or threat of force to obtain services from another person.

As detailed in Maryland Criminal Code 3-401, there is a specific legal definition for the term “obtain” in the robbery context.

  • For robberies involving property, “obtain” means to transfer an interest in or acquire possession through force or threat of force.
  • For robberies involving services, “obtain” means to procure the service in question through force or threat of force.

Whether the robber uses force to obtain property or services, it is the same offense of robbery under Maryland law.

Maryland Penalties for Robbery

As underlined in Maryland Criminal Code 3-402, robbery is a felony crime. The potential penalties for robbery in Maryland include 15 years in prison.

Maryland Definition of Armed Robbery

As highlighted in Maryland Criminal Code 3-403, robbery becomes armed robbery if the perpetrator:

  • Uses a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the offense; or
  • Indicates that they have a firearm or other dangerous weapon in their possession.

Whether the robber has a dangerous weapon or merely indicates to have such a weapon, it is the same offense of armed robbery under Maryland law.

Maryland Penalties for Armed Robbery

Maryland Criminal Code 3-403 also provides that armed robbery is a felony crime. The potential penalties for armed robbery in Maryland include 20 years in prison.

Maryland Definition of Carjacking and Armed Carjacking

As established in Maryland Criminal Code 3-405, it is a crime to take possession of another person’s motor vehicle using force or violence. This crime is otherwise known as carjacking.  If the carjacker uses a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the offense, then the crime becomes armed carjacking.

Maryland Penalties for Carjacking and Armed Carjacking

Maryland Criminal Code 3-405 also provides that carjacking and armed carjacking are felony crimes. The potential penalties for carjacking or armed carjacking in Maryland include 30 years in prison.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are facing charges for robbery, armed robbery or carjacking, it is highly advisable to reach out to a trusted criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 55 years of combined legal experience helping clients resolve family and criminal disputes. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gcr&section=3-401&ext=html&session=2017RS&tab=subject5

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