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Things to Know About Maryland Robbery Laws

There were an estimated 267,988 robberies nationwide in 2019. Strong-arm tactics were used in about 45% of robberies, while firearms were used in 36% percent. The major difference between theft and robbery is that robbery brings in an aspect of violence not seen in theft and with this violence, the punishments for the crime become much harsher.

This article gives an overview on the four types of robbery that the state of Maryland recognizes and convicts. It will also go over the penalties for each type and what you can expect if you are ever charged with any of them, as well as what you can do to fight those charges.         

Robbery Defined

The crime of robbery is defined as the taking of the property of another from their person or in their presence by violence, intimidation or threat with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. If one also uses instruments of intimidation to further their gain, the crime is considered escalated to armed robbery

Because of the act of injury or the threat to injure another party, robbery is known to be a more serious crime in the state of Maryland compared to other theft crimes. This means that the penalties for the crimes of robbery can also be more harsh than theft crimes. 

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. The same applies to the use of force or threat of force to obtain services from another person.

Robbery vs. Theft

Theft and robbery have the possibility of being confused with one another because both involve the taking of someone else’s property. But while theft and robbery may share some common characteristics, robbery differs from theft primarily because of the force or intimidation aspect of the crime. When force is used, it is always seen as robbery and not theft. 

Types of Robbery 

There are four types of robbery categorized in Maryland’s court system: robbery, armed robbery, carjacking and armed carjacking. The penalties and incarceration rates for each of these offenses varies as well.


One important fact to understand is that Maryland criminal law treats attempted robbery and robbery equally, so even a failed attempt at robbing someone can result in serious felony charges. If charged with robbery, you can be sentenced to up to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery, also called Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, is robbery committed with a weapon like a gun, knife or any other type of instrument that can cause death or bodily harm. You can be charged with armed robbery if you threaten someone with a note saying you have a weapon, even if you don’t actually possess one. The maximum sentence for armed robbery is 20 years in prison, with additional charges if you use a handgun during the crime, which carries a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole. 

Carjacking and Armed Carjacking

Carjacking is a type of robbery which involves a person taking control of a car by intimidating or threatening the car’s owner/driver. If the carjacker uses a weapon such as a gun, knife, or other instrument meant to intimidate the driver of the car they are carjacking, then the crime becomes defined as armed carjacking. 

Since carjacking and armed carjacking are both felony crimes, their potential carjacking charges can be up to 30 years in prison, with armed carjacking being the charge with the higher probability of more years in prison, as with all of the charges that use weapons. 

Legal Representation That’s on Your Side

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony robbery charges, seeking help from an experienced criminal lawyer early on in the process can make a significant difference. 

Jeremy Widder Law is a Maryland-based law firm specializing in protective orders and minor offenses, substance-related offenses, property crimes and non-violent felonies, as well as major offenses and violent felonies. 

Getting charged with a crime can be intense and stressful. You deserve a lawyer who will listen and be your advocate. We are committed to walking with you from start to finish and giving your unique case the attention it deserves. 

Contact Jeremy Widder Law for your consultation today.


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