Robbery charges can and frequently do result in a prison sentence, even for a first-time offender. Robbery is a crime of violence and often includes the use of fear and intimidation by the alleged perpetrator. The state of Florida takes allegations of robbery very seriously and prosecutes robbery defendants aggressively. A robbery conviction will result in serious criminal consequences that will negatively affect the rest of your life. If you are facing robbery charges you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will stand up and fight for you.

Definition of Robbery in Florida

Robbery is the taking of money or other property from another person, with the specific intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person of the money or property, and in the course of the taking there is a use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear. Section 812.13(1), Florida Statutes. The classic example of a robbery is when the offender says, “give me all your money or else!” This is a theft carried out with the threat of violence.

Different Types of Robberies

Robbery by sudden snatching is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a five thousand dollar fine. An example of a robbery by sudden snatching is an offender who steals a person’s purse or grabs a wallet out of someone’s hand. The victim must only become aware of the taking in order for this theft to become a robbery. If, in the course of the snatching, the offender is or becomes armed, then the level of the offense increases to a second degree felony.

If a robbery is committed inside another person’s home, then the crime is called a home invasion robbery. A home invasion robbery occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and does commit a robbery of the occupants inside the dwelling. Home invasion robbery is a first degree felony with a thirty year maximum prison sentence, if the offender is unarmed. If in the course of committing the home invasion robbery the person carries a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the person commits a felony of the first degree punishable by life in prison. Section 812.135, florida statutes.

In the course of committing means that the act occurred prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property. This means that even if the offender initially enters the home unarmed but takes a weapon from one of the occupants he can still be charged with armed home invasion and get a life sentence.

If the robbery includes taking a car from a person by using violence, force, or the threat of violence, then the robbery is called carjacking.

Consequences of a Robbery Conviction

Robbery is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Because robbery is a second degree felony, it also results in a mandatory adjudication of guilt, unless one of the limited exceptions applies. Even if you only get probation, a felony conviction can stick with you for the rest of your life by coming up in criminal background checks and job interviews. A felony conviction also can disqualify a person from holding certain professional licenses in the state of Florida.

If the offender carried a weapon during the commission of the robbery, then the level of the crime is increased to a first degree felony. Armed robbery is a first degree felony and carries up to a 30 year prison sentence and $20,000 fine, for even a first time offender based on the sentencing court’s discretion. If the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is punishable by life in prison. Don’t take chances with your future, get expert legal advice before you plea out to a robbery charge. You might have defenses that an experienced attorney can use to your advantage when negotiating a lighter sentence with the state or convincing a jury that you are not guilty. Call Sarasota Criminal Defense Expert Anthony G. Ryan today. Let me put my 20 plus years of criminal defense experience to work for you.

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