DC Armed Robbery Charges

Armed robbery is a serious felony offense where a person uses force or violence while also being armed with a firearm or a dangerous weapon when taking property away from the immediate possession of another person. If accused of this offense it is important to contact a DC theft lawyer immediately as the penalties can be more than 30 years in prison.

Elements of Armed Robbery

The government is required to prove several elements before a person can be convicted of armed robbery. The government must prove that the person using force or violence took property from the immediate possession of another person and against that person’s will. The government must also prove that the person carried the property away with the intent to steal it. Finally, the government must prove the property had some value and also prove that while committing the robbery, the person was purposefully armed with a firearm or dangerous weapon.

An example of an armed robbery scenario is where a person stops another person on the street, shows the gun in his jacket pocket, takes the victim’s wallet out of his pants pocket and demands he also hand over his watch before the person runs off with the victim’s wallet and watch. In this scenario, the government is able to prove that the person used force in taking the wallet and watch before carrying it away. Based on the circumstances, the government can show that the person had the intent to steal the wallet and the watch and was purposefully armed with a gun in carrying out the robbery.

Difference Between Robbery and Armed Robbery

For a robbery to be elevated to the more serious crime of armed robbery, the person must have been armed or had readily available any firearm, pistol, or other deadly or dangerous weapon during the robbery. Dangerous weapons can include shotguns, knives, razors, rifles, or brass knuckles.


In addition to the potential penalties for robbery, which are anywhere from two years in prison to 15 years in prison and a $37,500 fine, if a person is armed during the robbery; they could also face an additional period of imprisonment of up to 30 years.

Aggravating Factors

If a person has a prior conviction of a violent or dangerous crime, upon a conviction for armed robbery, they face a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in addition to the penalty imposed for the armed robbery. If a person has a prior conviction for an offense that was committed while armed, they face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in addition to the penalty imposed for the armed robbery.

Another aggravating factor is when a person commits an armed robbery against someone who is 60 years old or older. In that scenario, that person may face a fine and a prison term that is one and a half times the maximum fine or prison term that is otherwise authorized.

Evidence Used in Armed Robbery Cases

Evidence of the alleged firearm or dangerous weapon is extremely important. Any evidence indicating that the person was unaware or not purposefully in possession of the weapon is helpful in crafting a defense.

Similarly, any evidence tending to show that the person did not use any force or violence in obtaining the property helps in the defense against an armed robbery charge. In this specific scenario where an armed robbery is committed against someone who is 60 years or older, any evidence to show that the person reasonably believed that the alleged victim was not 60 years or older, or was in a position that he could not have known the age of the alleged victim is a strong defense to this particular aggravating factor.