D.C. Robbery Law

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D.C. Robbery Attorneys

Robbery in Washington DC is classified as a felony offense under §22-2801 of the DC Code, resulting in a permanent record for individuals convicted of this crime. Felonies carry more severe penalties compared to misdemeanors. The high rates of armed robbery in Washington DC have prompted the enactment of strict laws with the aim of deterring such criminal activity. Navigating the complexities of robbery law requires the expertise of a skilled Washington DC robbery lawyer.

Robbery combines the elements of theft and assault. Theft involves taking someone else’s property without permission, while assault entails attacking or threatening someone. This can manifest as physical assault, assault with a weapon, or even verbal threats. Even if no action is taken, simply threatening to harm someone constitutes an assault under the law.

To be classified as a robbery, both theft and assault must occur simultaneously. The perpetrator must commit an assault to take possession of another person’s property. This distinction is crucial, as the penalties for robbery are more severe compared to those for theft or certain forms of assault on their own. During the examination of the crime, it must be proven that both elements occurred concurrently.

Three Aspects of Robbery

To gain a better understanding of the components of a robbery, it is advisable to consult with a Washington lawyer who can explain each aspect. Firstly, the court will assess whether the alleged offender engaged in a violent or surprising assault against the victim. It will be determined if physical force or threats were used to subdue the person into compliance.

Secondly, the theft element requires the taking of something that holds inherent value from the victim. This aspect of the law ensures that crimes lacking significant gains are not exempted. If nothing was taken, a charge of robbery cannot be applied, though an attempted robbery charge may be applicable if there was an unsuccessful attempt to take something following the assault.

The third factor to consider is the type of theft that occurred, which hinges on how the item was held or possessed by the person. The act can be categorized as taking from the person if, for example, a computer was seized from someone’s hand. Alternatively, if a computer was grabbed from a table near the person, the lawyer in DC may view it as taking from the person’s possession. This distinction sometimes carries a less severe sentence, although it is not always the case.


The punishment for committing robbery in the District of Columbia typically involves imprisonment ranging from two to 15 years.

If a weapon, such as a gun, was used during the robbery, additional penalties can be imposed. This could result in an extra 30 years of imprisonment on top of the regular robbery penalties. Individuals with a history of other crimes, particularly gun-related offenses, may face mandatory sentences of five or 10 years. Certain gun crimes, like carrying a handgun without a license, carry mandatory sentences for repeat offenders.

In cases requiring the expertise of a Washington lawyer, charges can be compounded based on the unique circumstances surrounding the offense. You may face charges for armed robbery, illegal firearm possession, possession of an unregistered weapon, and potentially various degrees of murder if a handgun was used during the robbery and resulted in a death. These sentences can be served consecutively, increasing the maximum sentence and extending the minimum time before parole eligibility.


In 2011, there were 662.3 reported robberies in Washington DC, which showed a decrease compared to the previous year’s figure of 715.0. The robbery statistics for 2008 and 2009 were 750.8 and 734.4, respectively. This indicates that 2011 marked the fourth consecutive year of declining robbery rates in the nation’s capital.

Despite this decline, when considering a crime index that compares states, Washington DC still stands out as one of the most dangerous places to live in terms of crime. From 2005 to 2008, it consistently ranked as the top state for robberies. It also held the top position in the country for vehicle theft, murder, aggravated assault, and violent crimes.

How We Can Help

If you are facing robbery charges or have been arrested under suspicion of robbery, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a skilled robbery lawyer in Washington DC. Our team of highly knowledgeable and experienced attorneys is well-equipped to provide you with the necessary legal representation throughout your trial and sentencing process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert legal assistance without delay.