Florida law provides for harsh penalties for anyone convicted of a robbery offense. At its most basic level, robbery involves a taking by force. Important defenses exist in these serious cases. In many of these cases, the goal is getting the charges dropped to less serious offense of such as assault or theft. If the allegations are false or exaggerated, then the best result is getting the charges dropped by the prosecutor or dismissed by the court.
Robbery Defense Attorney in Brooksville, FL
If you are accused of committing robbery then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville, in Hernando County, FL. At The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. we represent clients throughout Hernando County, Pasco County, Citris County, and Sumter County, FL. Attorney Ashley Aulls represents clients charged with robbery and other crimes of violence throughout Brooksville, New Port Richey and Dade City, Inverness, or Bushnell, FL. Call (352) 593-4115 to discuss your case today.
Information on Robbery in Florida
- Different Types of Robbery Offenses in Florida
- Robbery – Florida Statute § 812.13
- Elements of Robbery
- Robbery Using Force and Fear
- Armed Robbery
- Robbery by Sudden Snatching – Florida Statute § 812.131
- Home-Invasion Robbery – Florida Statute § 812.135
- Robbery Information Center
- Finding a Robbery Lawyer in Brooksville, FL
Florida law provides for several different types of robbery offenses including robbery, armed robbery with a weapon or firearm, or robbery by sudden snatching. The most serious form of robbery involves a home invasion robbery.
The criminal offense of robbery is the taking of money or other property from another person when during the course of the taking there is the use of force or violence. A robbery is generally charged as a second degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
If during the course of committing the robbery, it is alleged that a weapon was carried then the crime can be charged as a first degree felony. If during the course of the robbery it is alleged that the person carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is considered a first degree felony punishable by life in prison.
Florida Statute § 812.13 provides that the following four elements of robbery must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt:
- The defendant took money or property from the person or custody of the alleged victim;
- Force, violence, assault, or putting in fear was used in the course of the taking;
- The property taken was of some value;
- The taking was with the intent to:
- permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of the right to the property or any benefit from it;
- to appropriate the property of victim to his or her own use; or
- to the use of any person not entitled to it.
On the issue of “putting in fear” the standard injury instructions provide that “[i]f the circumstances were such as to ordinarily induce fear in the mind of a reasonable person, then the victim may be found to have been in fear, and actual fear on the part of the victim need not be shown.”
On the issue of force, the standard jury instructions provide:
“The taking must be by the use of force or violence or by assault so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that the victim does not resist. The law does not require that the victim of robbery resist to any particular extent or that the victim offer any actual physical resistance if the circumstances are such that the victim is placed in fear of death or great bodily harm if he or she does resist. But unless prevented by fear, there must be some resistance to make the taking one done by force or violence.”
The use of force must occur in the course of the taking. If the jury finds that the taking of property occurred as an afterthought to the use of force or violence against the victim, the taking does not constitute robbery but may still constitute theft. DeJesus v. State, 98 So. 3d 105 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012).
The standard jury instructions provide that “[i]n order for a taking of property to be robbery, it is not necessary that the person robbed be the actual owner of the property. It is sufficient if the victim has the custody of the property at the time of the offense.”
Armed robbery is a robbery with an additional element that “in the course of committing the robbery” the defendant carried some kind of weapon. The penalties for armed robbery are more serious if it is alleged that the armed robbery involved a deadly weapon or a firearm.
Robbery with a Weapon: The penalties are more severe if the defendant carried a weapon during the course of committing the robbery. The term “weapon” is defined to mean any object that could be used to cause death or inflict serious bodily harm.
Robbery with a Deadly Weapon: The penalties are even more severe if the defendant carried a deadly weapon in the course of committing the robbery. A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Robbery with a Firearm: Robbery with a firearm is a more serious offense. Under Florida law, a firearm means any weapon which can expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. It includes the frame or receiver of any such weapon and any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. The term firearm also includes any destructive device or machine gun.
The criminal offense of “robbery by sudden snatching” means a robbery committed when during the course of the taking the following occurred:
- the victim was or became aware of the taking;
- the person used any amount of force beyond that effort necessary to obtain possession of the money or other property; or
- the victim offered any resistance to the taking or was injured during the taking.
Robbery by sudden snatching is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If it is also alleged that the person carried a firearm or other deadly weapon during the sudden snatching, then the crime can be charged as a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
One of the most serious forms of robbery in Florida is the home-invasion robbery. The following elements of this offense must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt:
- The defendant entered the dwelling of the victim.
- At the time the defendant entered the dwelling, the defendant intended to commit robbery.
- While inside the dwelling, the defendant did commit robbery.
- The taking was with the intent to:
- permanently or temporarily deprive another person of the right to the property or any benefit from it; or
- appropriate the property of another to the defendant’s own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
For a home-invasion robbery, the term “dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding it. The enclosure need not be continuous and may have an opening for entering and exiting. See Jacobs v. State, 41 So. 3d 1004 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010).
Enhanced penalties apply if “in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery” the defendant carried some kind of weapon, a deadly weapon, or a firearm.
Florida Statute Section 812.13 – Read the statutory language for the robbery statute found in Florida Statute Section 812.13 found on the Florida Senate website including information enhanced penalties and punishments.
Jury Instruction for Robbery – Read the standard jury instruction for robbery including definitions of “forced” and “taking.” Learn more about Category 1 and Category II lesser included offenses including resisting a merchant, assault, and battery.
If you are charged with robbery in Hernando County, FL, or the surrounding counties of Pasco County, Citrus County, or Sumter County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. A variety of defenses exist to these types of crimes of violence. Call (352) 593-4115 to discuss your robbery or armed robbery case today with Attorney Ashley Aulls.