DC Armed Robbery Lawyer

Armed robbery is when a person who is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon uses force or violence in taking property away from another person’s immediate possession.

If a firearm or other dangerous weapon is used during a robbery, the potential penalties will be more severe than in a robbery where no firearm or dangerous weapon is used.

For this reason, an individual should hire a DC armed robbery lawyer as soon as possible if they are facing an armed robbery charge. A robbery lawyer in DC can help inform an individual of all of their rights and prepare them for what to expect during the criminal case.

Elements of Armed Robbery

In an armed robbery case, the prosecution must prove all of the same elements required in a standard robbery case. Therefore, the prosecution has to prove that the accused used physical force or violence when taking property from another person’s immediate possession.

The prosecution also has to show the property was taken against the person’s will, and that the accused took the property away with the intent to deprive the person of the right to the property.

In an armed robbery case, the prosecution must prove the additional element that the accused was knowingly armed with a firearm or dangerous weapon or knowingly had a firearm or weapon readily available. A DC armed robbery lawyer can aid in defending against these elements.

One example of an armed robbery that would have all the required elements present would be if a person confronted a woman in a parking lot, put a knife up to her throat, demanded she hand over her money, and then ran away after she handed him the money. The person’s actions of putting a knife up to the woman’s throat while demanding money would show that he was knowingly in possession of a dangerous weapon and would be sufficient to sustain a conviction for armed robbery.

Difference Between Robbery and Armed Robbery

The major distinction between a robbery and an armed robbery is that during an armed robbery, the defendant has a firearm or other dangerous weapon on his person or has the weapon readily available.

In addition to firearms, other weapons considered to be dangerous are shotguns, rifles, butcher’s knives, razors, switch-blade knives, metallic knuckles, or machine guns. This is a non-exhaustive list and even imitations of these weapons will qualify in determining whether a person was armed.

Penalties

The potential penalties for armed robbery are very serious, and an individual facing an armed robbery charge in DC should consult a local armed robbery lawyer, so as to mitigate or avoid these penalties.

If an individual is convicted of robbery, they could face a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment, a fine of $37,500, or both.

If an individual is also found to be knowingly armed during the robbery, they could face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison if the weapon used was a firearm.

Aggravating Factors

There are a couple of circumstances that could potentially increase an individual’s maximum punishment. If the victim of the armed robbery is at least 60 years of age, the defendant will be exposed to a term of imprisonment and a fine that is one-and-a-half times greater than what is otherwise allowed. The defendant’s prior criminal history can also have an impact on the potential punishment he may be facing.

Evidence Used in Armed Robbery Cases

Since allegations of being armed with a firearm or a dangerous weapon will increase an individual’s criminal exposure, it is very important to gather evidence with respect to the alleged weapon. Any information tending to show that the weapon, if any, was not readily available to an individual will be helpful in arguing that the individual was not armed.

Similar to standard robbery charges, any information that can show the government’s witnesses are not credible, either because they are biased or were not in a position to make a reliable identification of their assailant, will also be helpful in developing a defense.

As a result, a DC armed robbery attorney might employ these and other tactics in defending someone charged with armed robbery.