DC Robbery

Whether you are charged with DC attempted robbery, armed robbery, or theft, our team of attorneys at Scrofano Law PC is ready to defend your rights.

What Is Washington DC Robbery?


District of Columbia Code § 22-2801 defines robbery as “by force or violence, whether against resistance or by sudden or stealthy seizure or snatching or by putting in fear, shall take from the person or immediate actual possession of another anything of value.” 

This definition is heavy on the legal jargon, but it is easier to understand if we break it down. To be convicted of this criminal offense, the government needs to prove that your actions meet three elements of the crime: you used violence, to take something of value, from a person directly or from their possession.
A criminal conviction can severely impact your life, even outside of judicial punishments. It is important to have the best criminal defense attorney possible to protect your rights. The attorneys at Scrofano Law PC have decades of combined experience successfully defending the people of the District of Columbia. Whether you are charged with armed robbery or theft, you will discover our team of attorneys ready to defend your rights and fight for your case.

What Constitutes a DC Bank Robbery?


Bank robbery is a federal offense, and it is defined in 18 U.S. Code § 2113. This law prohibits attempted taking or taking and carrying away any money, property, or items form federal banking institutions such as banks, credit unions, trust companies, and other institutions whose deposits are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Taking any money or property from a bank or a similar institution by using force or violence could result in not more than 20 years in prison. In addition, an attempt to take any money or property, as well as an attempt to enter any such institution with the intent to commit a crime is also punishable under this law in the same manner.

This law also states: “Whoever, in committing, or in attempting to commit, any offense defined in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, assaults any person, or puts in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon or device, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty-five years, or both.”

Taking money or other things of value exceeding $1,000 from any such institution can result in 10-year imprisonment. If the value does not exceed the established threshold, the penalty can be no more than one year in jail.

Those who have participated in this type of criminal offense, but didn’t take the property or money, or those who received money or property, knowing that it was stolen, could also face penalties and fines.


If You Have Been Charged with Washington DC Bank Robbery, Contact an Experienced Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with robbing a bank, make sure you contact Scrofano Law PC immediately, so an attorney can start crafting the best defense possible for your case. Hiring a robbery lawyer who can help you understand the charges you are facing, and who will help you get through the process, restore your freedom and reputation is the most important thing.

What Actions Satisfy the Elements of Robbery?


  1. Use of Force

This part of the statute is written to cover many different actions to make sure it covers any action that was used to make someone give up their belongings. It most obviously means forcefully taking something from a victim’s belongings, such as ripping a phone out of someone’s hand on the metro.

However, it can also mean threatening someone with a weapon or even just threatening someone with words. A good prosecutor can even successfully argue that a person’s threatening demeanor exemplifies the use of force. This element is most susceptible to good arguments from a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. Without it, a robbery charge falls to a theft charge, a much less severe offense in Washington DC.

  1. Taking Something of Value

This element is straightforward; it is satisfied if you take something from someone. The term value does not mean that the item has to be actually valuable. Taking a coffee from someone satisfies the “value” element just as much as taking a diamond necklace.

  1. Directly from the Person, or Person’s Possession

This element is also rather straightforward. If you take something directly from their hands or from nearby them, this element is satisfied. For example, taking a coffee from the table a person is sitting at is just as much a robbery as taking the coffee from their hands.

Types of Robbery and Theft


The Metropolitan Police Department states that while a robbery is defined as taking anything of value from another person by using force, violence, or fear, theft doesn’t require using force or violence. Theft is defined as “wrongfully obtaining or using the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the value thereof.” Pickpocket offense, as well as a snatch, are also considered theft if violence is not used.

The maximum penalties for the theft in the first degree, which means that the overall worth of the item taken is $1,000 or more, are 10 years of jail time and a fine of $5,000. If the stolen property’s overall worth is less than $1,000, that is a theft in the second degree. The maximum penalties for this offense are 180 days in prison and a fine of $1,000.

A person can be charged with robbery, attempted or armed robbery, depending on the circumstances. If you made an attempt to rob someone and failed to actually do so, you can still be charged with attempted robbery under DC Code § 22-2802. To prove you committed it, the government must prove that, by an “overt act,” you attempted to commit a robbery. For example, threatening a person with a knife to hand over their phone is an “overt act.” If you don’t actually get the phone, you could still be convicted of the attempted robbery and face up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $12,500.

Robbery is a felony in DC. If convicted, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of 2 years, but the judge can sentence you to up to 15 years in prison. In addition, you could be subject to a hefty fine. However, the fine amount can not exceed $37,500.

At Scrofano Law PC, we have experience defending criminal charges, including domestic violence offenses, DUI, drug offenses, as well as federal criminal cases. Whether you are charged with a violent felony or a theft or fraud type offense, we are ready to defend your rights at every turn.

What Are the Penalties for DC Armored Car Robbery?


Stealing an automobile or stealing from an automobile is also a serious crime. Some of the most significant heists in American criminal history have been armored car robberies where people have stolen large quantities of cash on its way to or from the bank. Federal bank robbery laws (18 U.S. Code § 2113) may also encompass stealing from an armored car or bank messenger, depending on the circumstances. 

If the money or the property of the vehicle constitutes an “interstate or foreign shipment of freight, express, or other property,” the accused could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the 18 U.S. Code § 659.

When it comes to stealing cars, the District of Columbia has a separate statute (§ 22-2803) created in the 1990s that specifically targets carjacking offenses. Carjacking is a criminal offense that is taken extremely seriously in this district. The elements of carjacking are more or less the same as the elements for robbery; however, the statute calls for much harsher penalties. 

If you are convicted of carjacking, you face a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison, and a judge can sentence you up to 21 years in prison. If you are convicted of armed carjacking, you face a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, and, depending on the circumstances, the judge could sentence you up to 40 years in prison.

Armed Robbery Charges: What Penalties You Could Be Facing?


In the District of Columbia, committing armed or aggravated robbery can seriously increase your potential punishment. It means a person used a weapon while robbing someone. DC does not limit the definition of weapon to just a firearm or knife, any item that could be used as a weapon could potentially enhance your robbery charge to an armed robbery charge.

If you are convicted, the penalty for armed robbery includes up to 30 years in prison. If you have a prior criminal record, the mandatory minimum of armed robbery jail time could also be raised to 5 years in prison. 
If you are facing armed robbery felony charges, your freedom may be at stake. A criminal investigation may change your life, even if you are not guilty of the crime you are being accused of. Experienced criminal defense attorneys at Scrofano Law PC can build a powerful defense, no matter what are the charges you are facing. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your case.


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