Convictions for violent crimes can have serious and long lasting effects on your ability to live a normal life. Family and friends may shun you. Employers will favor applicants with clean records. Educational institutions will be hesitant to allow you into their programs. Convictions for such offenses can result in lengthy prison stays, years spent on probation, and countless other fines, court costs and probation conditions. You should not try to fight against such charges on your own. A skilled and dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer can analyze your case and craft the best defense for your specific circumstances.
One of the more serious violent offenses charged in Florida is Robbery. The idea of robbery conjures images of a masked gunman holding up a store clerk for cash register money or a thief on the street threatening passers by for their wallets and jewelry. And while such conduct is prohibited under Florida’s robbery laws, the truth is that a much broader range of conduct is punishable as robbery in this state. Like many Florida laws, the robbery statute can be interpreted very broadly, and it is important to always consult a lawyer to determine what your best options may be.Elements of Robbery
Robbery in Florida is defined by statute 812.13. The law states that “robbery means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody or 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.”
At first glance, the robbery law seems very similar to theft. That is because theft itself is an element of the offense of robbery. In other words, in order to commit a robbery, you must also commit a theft. The elements that separate a robbery from a run of the mill theft are the “fear” elements. In order for a theft to transform into a robbery, the property must be stolen from the “person or custody” of another. In addition, there must be some use of force, violence, or “putting in fear.” For example, if you pickpocket someone and they never even notice that you stole their wallet, you would have committed a theft, not a robbery. However, if you steal the same person’s wallet at gunpoint or after an assault, you likely committed a robbery, a much more serious offense. Even if you did not cause fear or use force, if the person notices that you pickpocketed their wallet, you could also be charged with robbery by sudden snatching.
Robbery carries much higher penalties than theft as well. While theft is most usually a misdemeanor or third degree felony, robbery starts out as a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. However, if it is proven that you carried a weapon like a knife or brass knuckles, the offense is upgraded to a first degree felony that is punishable by up to thirty years in prison. Finally, if the prosecution can prove that you carried a firearm in the course of committing a robbery, the offense is automatically upgraded into a felony punishable by up to life in prison. The penalties for robbery in all of its forms can be dire. For that reason, you should never try to face such serious charges alone. Speak to a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer as soon as you can to understand your options.Speak to a Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have decades of experience helping criminal defendants in cases both large and small. We dedicate ourselves to the practice of criminal defense and work hard to secure the best results for our clients. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at 727.289.0222.