DC Criminal Robbery Lawyer

The crime of robbery in Washington DC is governed by §22-2801 of the DC Code. This crime is considered to be a felony, so it is something that will stay on an individual’s official record for entirety of their life. Felonies also carry harsher punishments than misdemeanors. Stats have shown that the armed robbery rates in Washington DC are very high when compared to the rest of the country, so the laws have been made in a corresponding fashion, with strict punishments, to deter this activity. If you want to navigate through the complex world of robbery law, a Washington DC robbery lawyer can help.

A robbery brings together the separate crimes of theft and assault. Theft is merely the taking of something that is not yours. For instance, stealing a package of gum from the store is considered theft. Assault is the process of attacking someone in any fashion. A physical assault could happen, an assault with a weapon could occur, or even a verbal assault could qualify under the law. Threatening to kill someone is an assault even if you never take any action to do so.

For a robbery to occur, both things need to happen at once. You need to assault a person in some fashion and then use that assault to take something that belongs to them. This is the only way for the event to qualify as a robbery. This is an important distinction since the penalty for a robbery is stricter than the penalty for theft or some versions of assault on their own. When the crime is being examined, it has to be proven that both parts occurred simultaneously.

The Three Aspects of a Robbery

It is advised to learn the three different parts of a robbery from a Washington lawyer so that you understand each one. First, the judge will have to determine if the alleged criminal really assaulted the person in a violent manner, or in a surprising manner. If you have been accused, it needs to be determined whether or not you used physical force or a threat to put the person into a position of submission to you.

Next, something that had an inherent value has to be taken from the victim. Almost everything has some sort of value, so this part of the law is not designed to excuse people for crimes that do not net them much in the way of gain. Rather, it is just in place to make sure that the crime was really a robbery and not just an assault alone. If you did not take anything, you cannot be charged with robbery, though you could be charged with attempted robbery if you tried to take something after the assault and you were unable to do so.

The third factor that has to be considered is what type of theft occurred. The difference lies in the way that the person was holding or possessing the item in question. The act can legally be considered taking from the person, or it can be referred to as taking from someone’s possession. If you took a computer that a person was holding in his or her hand, the judge and jury would see this as taking the item from the person. If you grabbed a computer that was sitting on a table near the person, the lawyer in DC may see your act as taking from that person’s possession. This often carries a lighter sentence than taking from the person, though not always.


The basic punishment for committing robbery in the District of Columbia is an imprisonment of between two and 15 years.

If you used a gun or some other weapon during the robbery, you could receive an additional 30 years in addition to the penalties that accompany regular robbery. If you have a history of other crimes, especially gun-related crimes, you may even get a mandatory sentence of five or 10 years. Many gun crimes, such as carrying a handgun without a license, can come with mandatory sentences for repeat offenders.

As with most crimes for which you would need a Washington lawyer, your charges could be compounded if multiple things depending on the unique specifics of the circumstances that lead to your eventual charge. You could be charged with armed robbery, illegally carrying a gun, possessing an unregistered weapon and some level of murder if you use a handgun to rob someone and a death was involved. These sentences can then be put on top of one another, meaning that you have to serve some of the sentences before the others, increasing the maximum sentence and the minimum amount of time before parole is a possibility.


There were 662.3 robberies reported in DC in 2011. This was actually down from the year before, in 2010, which was 715.0. The years 2008 and 2009 showed robbery stats of 750.8 and 734.4, respectively. It is shown that 2011 is actually the fourth year in a downward trend of crime in the nation’s capital.

However, looking at an index of crimes that compares all of the different states, it can still be seen that DC has recently been one of the most dangerous places to live, at least as far as crime is concerned. From 2005-2008, it ranked number one every year for robberies. It also ranked as number one in the country for vehicle theft, murder, aggravated assault, and violent crimes.

Contacting a Robbery Lawyer

If robbery charges have been leveled against you or if you have been arrested on suspicion of robbery, you should hire a Washington DC robbery lawyer to aid you during the trial and the sentencing. You will not find more knowledgeable, experienced lawyers in the DC area than ours. We urge you to contact us right away if you need any sort of legal assistance.