Because robbery is considered a violent felony, the State of Florida prosecutes these cases to the fullest extent of the law. A robbery conviction carries serious penalties including having a permanent criminal record, prison time, and significant fines. It may be critical for you to consult with a distinguished defense attorney about your case.
The first and most important step you can take towards protecting your rights and freedom is to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney. Delray Beach robbery lawyers can craft a defense that is designed to challenge weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and maximize your chances of achieving a favorable result.
Definition of Robbery in Florida
Robbery is essentially theft by force or threat of force. In Florida, robbery offenses are defined in Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes–Theft, Robbery, and Related Crimes. Those include:
- Robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm
- Robbery with a weapon
- Robbery without a weapon
- Robbery by sudden snatching
- Home-invasion robbery
In addition to the core elements of robbery described in in 812.13(1), each of these offenses have their own distinctive elements. Under Section 812.13(1), robbery means the (1) taking of property from the person or custody of another (2) through the use of force, violence, assault, or threat (3) with intent to deprive the person or owner of the property.
To meet the definition of robbery, the act of force, violence, assault, or threat must occur prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property. Furthermore, the act or threat and the taking of the property must constitute a continuous series of actions or events.
If the taking of the property is merely an afterthought to the use of force or intimidation, it does not rise to the level of robbery, but may still constitute theft or the crime of robbery by sudden snatching. It is not necessary that the alleged victim be the actual owner of the property. Delray Beach robbery lawyers have seen that custody alone is sufficient.
Classification of Robbery Charges
Robbery is a felony of varying degrees depending on whether the accused carried a weapon in the course of committing the offense. It is “in the course of committing the robbery” if the act occurs in an attempt to commit robbery or in flight after the attempt or commission.
A first-degree felony is when, in the course of committing the robbery, the accused carried a weapon (called armed robbery). A weapon means any object that could be used to inflict or cause serious bodily injury. If the robbery is committed without a weapon (called strong-arm robber), it is a second-degree felony.
Robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and subject to enhanced penalties. Florida’s 10-20-Life Law applies to convictions for robbery with a firearm. This means that a person convicted of possessing or discharging a firearm during the commission of a robbery will be subject to certain mandatory minimum sentences.
Working with an Attorney
If you have been charged with a robbery offense in the Delray Beach area, you need legal representation you can rely on. To learn more about your options and address any questions you may have about your case, call a Delray Beach robbery lawyer.