Four months after visiting some family in DC, I was notified of very serious allegations made against me. I had just moved to a new city and didn’t know who to turn to, but I knew I needed a skilled criminal defense attorney. I started my search online and came across Jason Kalafat’s profile. The […]
Washington DC Robbery Attorney
Robbery in Washington, DC is defined under law as the taking of property from another person, in your immediate presence, by force or threat of force. The law also requires that you must have the intent to steal in order for the offense to qualify as robbery. As it is considered a violent crime, it is vital anyone charged with robbery contact a DC robbery lawyer.
Simply being charged with this offense can have serious ramifications on your professional and personal relationships and can carry a lengthy prison term and exorbitant fines. For this reason, it is important you consult with a theft lawyer in DC who will be able to look at the evidence against you and develop a strong defense.
Definition of Robbery
Generally, the crime of robbery is taking property directly from another person’s possession and using physical force or violence in order to take it. It is essential to hire a DC robbery lawyer because these charges are serious and are viewed as very dangerous crimes.
Difference Between Robbery and Theft
Robbery is different from theft in that robbery requires proof that the person used force or violence in taking something of value from another person’s immediate possession. Theft does not require taking property out of another person’s immediate possession and it also does not require the use of physical force or violence.
For example, a scenario that involves blocking a stranger’s path in the middle of the sidewalk and demanding that she hand over her jewelry while snatching her purse off her arm meets the requirements of robbery. It involves taking property from another person’s immediate possession and using force to accomplish taking it.
A theft scenario is taking a woman’s purse from a restroom that a person knew was left behind accidentally. In this scenario, there is no force used and the purse is not in the woman’s immediate possession. It does not meet the requirements of robbery, but it would meet the elements of theft.
Degrees of Robbery
A person could be charged with attempted robbery, robbery, or armed robbery. An attempt to commit a robbery involves an overt act on behalf of the person that shows the intent to forcefully or violently take property from another person’s immediate possession.
To alter the example from the previous question, an attempted robbery is where a person blocks a stranger’s path in the middle of the sidewalk, demands that she hand over her jewelry and starts to tug on her purse in an attempt to take it. If instead of handing over her jewelry, the woman successfully runs away and keeps possession of her purse, the person committed an attempted robbery.
An attempt to commit robbery is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison, a $12,500 fine, or both. A robbery is punishable by a mandatory minimum of two years in jail, but cannot be greater than 15 years. A fine may also follow a conviction of robbery, but cannot exceed $37,500.
Armed robbery where a person commits a robbery with a firearm or other dangerous weapon increases the potential punishment to 30 years in prison.
How a DC Robbery Attorney Can Help
When faced with the prospect of such a lengthy prison term and a permanent felony record, calling on an experienced robbery attorney in DC will help you put the case in perspective. A lawyer can be there to minimize the effects and to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Steps A Lawyer Can Take
An attorney will gather any information or documentation the person may have to show that they were not at the location of the robbery when the robbery occurred. This may include names of people the person was with at the time, who would be able to provide testimony down the road if the case goes to a trial. The attorney gains information about the person’s relationship, if any, with the complainant. This may help the attorney begin to develop a bias or credibility argument with respect to the complaining witness.
Of course, it is helpful to the attorney to gain personal information about the person such as their ties to the community, employment, and prior criminal history, if any.