Robbery basically means taking something from another person through force (or the threat of force). In Florida in 2017, there were 18,583 robberies reported, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 290 of those robberies were reported in Gainesville and the Alachua County area, as discussed in one of my previous articles about crime statistics.
What is a Robbery Charge in Florida?
According to Florida Statutes section 812.13:
“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.
There are also other variations of robbery.
Robbery by Sudden Snatching
Florida Statutes section 812.131(1) defines “robbery by sudden snatching” as meaning “the taking of 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.” Think of a pickpocket being caught in the act. There’s no requirement that the victim provide resistance, and no requirement that any force be used other than the force required to carry out the taking. Robbery by sudden snatching is typically a third-degree felony, unless the accused is armed, in which case it’s a first-degree felony.
Carjacking is addressed in Florida Statutes section 812.133(1), where it is defined as “ the taking of a motor vehicle 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 motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” So this basically means taking a car by way of a robbery. The penalties are serious: an unarmed carjacking is a first-degree felony and an armed carjacking is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
Home Invasion Robbery
Home invasion robbery is defined by Florida Statutes section 812.135(1) as being “any robbery that occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery, and does commit a robbery of the occupants therein.” If the person carries a firearm, it is is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison, otherwise it is a first-degree felony.
Defenses to a Robbery Charge
Defenses to a robbery charge include misidentification (“it wasn’t me!”), having an alibi, and timing issues (if someone is threatened with a beating and then hands over their watch, it might be a robbery; if someone gets handed a beating because of a personal beef, and then, purely as an afterthought, the victor takes the person’s watch, it still may be battery or theft, but it’s not robbery). Duress, coercion, and voluntary intoxication might also provide potential defenses to a robbery charge.
Penalties, Enhancements, and Punishments for a Robbery Charge
There are certain things the state can allege that may enhance the severity of punishment for a robbery charge, including whether the accused wielded a weapon or firearm, or was wearing a mask.
In any event, The Weisman Law Firm handles robbery charges for people accused of crimes. The founders had the sense to establish the constitutional principles that we’re all presumed innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on the state to prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that any person accused of a crime is guaranteed effective representation. If you, a friend, or a loved one has been accused of a crime like this, feel free to contact The Weisman Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation.