Robbery is considered a violent crime in Florida. You may face severe penalties, including decades in prison and significant fines if convicted. However, a charge does equal a conviction. With the help of an experienced robbery lawyer, you may be able to avoid the harshest consequences and a criminal record.
Contact Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., if you have specific questions about your case. We are here to listen to your side of the story and get you released so that you can return to your family. Call us today at 813-258-4800 or use our online contact form to reach out.
Robbery in Florida Defined
According to Florida Statute (F.S.) 812.13(1), robbery is taking money or other property from a person using force, violence, or threats. The prosecution must prove four elements to a robbery beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction. Those elements are:
- You took money or property from a person.
- The property had value.
- You intended to permanently or temporarily deprive a person of their right or any benefit from it.
- You used force, violence, or threats.
Florida robbery law does not require that the alleged victim was placed in fear of death or great bodily harm. However, there must be proof of assault (threats), force, or violence toward the alleged victim.
Robbery vs. Burglary
Many people confuse robbery with burglary and use the terms interchangeably. However, these are different crimes.
A burglary occurs when a person enters or remains in a dwelling or structure intending to commit a criminal offense. It is a felony, like robbery, and also leads to severe penalties. However, there is no requirement that a person takes anything. A robbery involves the taking of property.
Types of Robbery
Various crimes fall under the robbery category. Some of those include:
Armed Robbery – This is a robbery that includes any deadly weapon that may be used to cause harm. Robbery with a firearm or gun is an example.
Strong-Arm Robbery – This uses force, violence, or threats but does not involve a weapon. It is also called unarmed robbery.
Home Invasion – S. 812.135 defines this as a person entering a dwelling and robbing the occupants. This is very similar to a burglary.
Carjacking – This involves robbing a car using violence, force, or threats.
Robbery by Sudden Snatching – S. 812.131 defines this robbery as one during which the victim is aware of the taking. An example is purse snatching.
You need to work with a robbery attorney if you have an armed robbery case or one that involves any of these other types of robberies. You face penalties that will affect the rest of your life.
Additionally, even if you do not commit robbery, you may be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery (if other people were involved) or attempted robbery. If you helped plan or assisted with a robbery, you may be charged with being an accessory to robbery.
Penalties for Robbery in Florida
A robbery is a felony in Florida. The penalties for a robbery conviction depend on the specific type of robbery, category of felony, and potential aggravating factors.
Robbery by Sudden Snatching – Third-degree felony with up to a $5,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison.
Strong Arm Robbery – Second-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison
Armed Robbery with a Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison
Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to life imprisonment
Home Invasion with a Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison
Home Invasion with a Deadly Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to life imprisonment
Carjacking with No Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison
Carjacking with a Deadly Weapon – First-degree felony with up to a $10,000 fine and up to life imprisonment
Additionally, you may face the following penalties for a robbery conviction:
- House arrest
- Loss of gun ownership and voting rights
- Court fees
Aggravating Factors for Robbery Charges
The penalties for a robbery conviction can be increased depending on if aggravating factors are involved. Some examples of aggravating factors that would raise a sentence include:
- You possessed a firearm or other deadly weapon
- The victim suffered bodily harm
- You have prior convictions for violent crimes
- The severity of the violence or intimidation used in committing the robbery
- Other felonies committed at the same time as the robbery
While there is no mandatory minimum sentence for robbery, minimums would be imposed if a firearm was involved.
If you possessed a firearm, but it was not discharged, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. You would face at least 20 years in prison if a firearm was discharged during the robbery. If you discharge a firearm and injure or kill someone, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
How a Tampa Robbery Lawyer Can Help
An aggravated robbery lawyer can help you avoid the harshest penalties. They may even be able to create strategic defenses to get your case dismissed. Some defenses that your robbery lawyer may be able to use in your case include the following:
- The prosecutor cannot prove all the elements of the crime
- There is insufficient evidence to support a conviction
- You did not use force, violence, or threats
- You were forced to commit the crime under duress
Your attorney can also target specific aspects of the prosecutor’s case, such as illegally obtained evidence. By getting key evidence thrown out, you may be able to get your charges dismissed.
Contact a Robbery Defense Attorney for Help
Attorney Brett Metcalf knows Florida robbery laws and understands how to defend against them. Your robbery charges don’t have to mean a conviction. We will work to get charges dismissed and penalties reduced.