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A Sarasota Robbery Attorney Will Protect Your Rights

Robbery Defense

Robbery is a serious criminal offense under Florida law. Robbery is a minimally second-degree felony, but it can be prosecuted as a first-degree felony in many cases. Related offenses such as robbery by sudden snatching, carjacking and home-invasion robbery are also felony-level offenses. As a result, if you are facing any type of robbery charge in Florida, you need a Sarasota robbery attorney on your side.

What Constitutes a Robbery Under Florida Law?

In general terms, robbery involves committing a theft through the use of force or fear. Section 812.13 of the Florida Statutes defines the crime of robbery as follows:

“’Robbery’ means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.”

Robbery is a second-degree felony if the crime does not involve the use of a firearm or other weapon. If a robbery involves the use of a firearm or other weapon, this elevates the crime to a first-degree felony. Robberies involving weapons (also referred to as “armed robberies”) are categorized as follows:

  • Robbery with a Weapon – A “weapon” is defined as any object capable of causing serious bodily harm or death.
  • Robbery with a Deadly Weapon – A case will be deemed to involve a “deadly weapon” if the weapon was used (or if the defendant threatened to use the weapon) to cause great bodily harm or death.
  • Robbery with a Firearm – A “firearm” is a gun or any other type of weapon that expels a projectile by the action of an explosive.

In addition to Section 812.13, other sections of the Florida Statutes establish other robbery-related offenses. These offenses include:

Robbery By Sudden Snatching

The crime of “robbery by sudden snatching” is defined as, “taking . . . money or other property from the victim’s person, with intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim or the owner of the money or other property, when, in the course of the taking, the victim was or became aware of the taking.” Under Section 812.131 of the Florida Statutes, robbery by sudden snatching does not require evidence of the use of force, nor does it require evidence that the victim attempted to protect his or her property. Robbery by sudden snatching is a third-degree felony offense if no weapon is involved. In cases involving weapons, defendants can face second-degree felony charges.

Carjacking

Carjacking is a first-degree felony in Florida. This is true whether or not the defendant is accused of using a weapon during the commission of the crime. Section 812.133 of the Florida Statutes defines carjacking as, “taking . . . a motor vehicle . . . from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.”

Home-Invasion Robbery

Home-invasion robbery is also a first-degree felony offense in all cases. Under Section 812.135 of the Florida Statutes, a home-invasion robbery is defined as a robbery committed, “when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and does commit a robbery of the occupants therein.”

What Are the Penalties for Robbery in Florida?

The penalties for robbery in Florida depend on the nature of the offense (i.e. whether the offense is a “strong-arm” robbery, armed robbery, sudden snatching, carjacking or home invasion) and whether a weapon was involved. The potential fines, prison sentences and terms of probation for robbery crimes in most cases are as follows:

  • Strong-Arm Robbery (Robbery Without a Weapon) – Up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
  • Robbery with a Weapon or Deadly Weapon – Up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a $10,000 fine; up to life in prison in cases involving deadly weapons.
  • Robbery with a Firearm – Up to life in prison, lifetime probation and a $15,000 fine. The court may be required to impose a minimum sentence of 10, 20 or 25 years depending on the circumstances involved.
  • Robbery By Sudden Snatching – Up to five years in prison, five years of probation and a $5,000 fine with no weapon; up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine with a weapon.
  • Carjacking – Up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a $10,000 fine with no weapon; up to life imprisonment with a weapon.
  • Home-Invasion Robbery – Up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a $10,000 fine with no weapon; up to life imprisonment with a weapon.

Florida’s sentencing laws are complex, and there are various factors that can lead to an upgrade or downgrade of charges. Robbery crimes are also subject to minimum prison terms in some cases. Our attorneys can help you understand what is at stake in your robbery case, and we can fight to protect you by all means available.

What Defenses Can a Sarasota Robbery Attorney Present?

There are several potential defenses to robbery charges in Florida. While some of these defenses focus on innocence (i.e. you did not actually commit a robbery), others focus on challenging the prosecution’s evidence against you (i.e. the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights). As a result, even if you think you are guilty, you could still have a variety of defenses available. With all that you have at stake, you need your robbery attorney to do everything they can to protect you to the fullest extent possible.

Contact Us to Speak with a Robbery Defense Attorney in Confidence

If you are facing a robbery charge in Florida, our robbery lawyers can help protect you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation as soon as possible, call 941-404-8909 or contact us online now. 

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