Bonnie and Clyde, You Ain’tThere’s a weird sort of appeal for criminals, isn’t there? We love movies and shows about mobsters. We spend millions watching Johnny Depp get all creeped-out to play Whitey Bulger. We romanticize the old gangsters, like Capone and Dillinger, and the Academy gave Denzel an Oscar for playing a crooked cop.

Cops and robbers might be some old-timey fun for kids, but it’s a serious deal if you’re actually committing a crime. So we wanted to take a look at Maryland’s robbery statutes and give you the lowdown on what might happen if you’re charged and convicted.

What is robbery?

Under Maryland state law, robbery is a type of theft where the thief uses, or threatens to use, force and/or intimidation. (Theft is a broad term describing events where one person procures the property or money of another person and intends to deprive the rightful owner of said property or money forever.) There are three main types of robbery offenses: simple robbery, armed robbery, and carjacking.

  • Simple robbery is just like it sounds: you took someone’s stuff (or tried to), and you didn’t have a weapon.
  • Armed robbery involves the use or threatened use of deadly weapons like firearms, blades, or any other objects whose use can result in major bodily injury or death. You also can face armed robbery charges if you give someone a note that says “I have a gun,” even if you don’t have a gun (or any other weapon).
  • Carjacking happens when you take someone’s vehicle by force while they’re still in the vehicle. Here’s a fun-fact: you can get charged with carjacking if you steal a cable car (you know, the ones that run on the overhead electric lines?) and Maryland doesn’t even have cable cars. There is literally a provision for everything in the code – except scooters. Nobody carjacks scooters.

What are the penalties for committing or attempting to commit a robbery?

Robbery is a felony offense in Maryland, so the penalties for committing or attempting to commit robbery are tough. These penalties include prison time, fines, and restitution (the requirement that the stolen property is returned to the owner or that the owner is given something monetarily equal to the value of said property). For simple robbery, the accused faces no more than fifteen years of incarceration, but can face more if he/she used violence or committed assault in conjunction with the robbery. Armed robbery is up to twenty years of incarceration, but if you had a gun you’re facing at least 5 years’ minimum. If you carjack someone? Up to 30 in prison.

It’s pretty simple: don’t take other people’s stuff. And for the love of Pete, stay away from trolley cars entirely. But if you are facing robbery charges, you need an aggressive Annapolis theft defense lawyer on your side – and that’s where I come in. Contact my office – Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law – to find out how I can help. You can fill out this contact form or call 410-777-8103.

Whatever you do, don’t panic. Just remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.