Florida statute 812.13 defines robbery as: "[T]he 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 different types of robberies and they carry different penalties. Under Florida law, there are five different types of robbery crimes:
Robbery by sudden snatch is your typical robbery where a person tries to steal an item that another person is holding but does not place that person in fear, does not use violence or threats to take the item. This is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison
Florida Statute 812.131 defines robbery by sudden snatching as: “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."
Strong Arm robbery occurs when a person uses force, violence, assault, or puts the victim in fear in order to take the victim's money or property. This only applies if no weapon or firearm was used. This is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
The same definition of robbery above applies but the person used a weapon that is not a firearm (knife, bat, crowbar, etc.), to commit the robbery. This is a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty (30) years in state prison.
This crime falls in the 10-20-LIFE statue and is a first degree felony punishable by up to LIFE in state prison. Because this is a life felony there is no bond available and a special bond hearing will have to be requested in order to attempt to get a bond for the accused. A person accused of this crime will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence:
Please see the 10-20-LIFE page for additional information.
Carjacking is the same as robbery but the property being taken is a motor vehicle. Florida statute 812.133 defines carjacking as follows: "[T]he 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."
If the accused used or carried a deadly weapon or firearm then it is a felony of the first degree punishable by up to LIFE in prison. 10-20-LIFE is also applicable to this crime.
If the accused did not carry a weapon then it is a felony of the first degree punishable by up to thirty (30) years in state prison.
Home-invasion robbery is the same as robbery but the accused entered the home and committed the robbery inside the home. This crime is always a first degree felony but it is punishable by up to thirty (30) years if no weapon was used or LIFE if a deadly weapon or firearm was used. Here is the actual definition from Florida Statute 812.135: "[A]ny 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." Sometimes a home-invasion robbery can be mistakenly filed by the prosecutor when in reality it should be a burglary of an occupied dwelling. But the key distinction between a home-invasion and a burglary is that the victim inside the house is physically robbed of property that they are holding and force, violence, assault, or fear is used.
Robbery crimes are one of the most serious felonies in Florida, and carry major penalties as a result. An experienced criminal defense attorney will look at every piece of evidence and testimony and will file all the appropriate motions so that your case will be defended with the rigor and dedication it deserves from day one.
If you or a family member has been charged with a robbery it is important to defend yourself with the very best tools available, which is why you will want to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney early on. Antonio Jimenez is a lawyer in Miami that has been defending clients charged with robberies throughout Miami-Dade County for many years and prior to becoming a defense attorney he was a state prosecutor in Miami. Contact him for a personal consultation of your case.