Robbery is defined as “the felonious taking of the property of another from his or her person or in his or her immediate presence, against his or her will, by violence or intimidation.” In other words, a robbery occurs when someone uses violence or the threat of violence to take another’s property. These serious charges require assistance from a robbery attorney in St. Petersburg at Goldman Wetzel.
A theft attorney from our firm will evaluate the charges against you, assist with any legal maneuvering, and start crafting a defense. The circumstances of the offense affect the possible punishments awaiting the suspect(s), such as:
- Was a weapon present, and if so, how was it used?
- Was the victim injured – with or without a weapon – and if so, how seriously was the victim wounded?
- If other crimes were committed along with the robbery, were they felonies or misdemeanors?
The aggravated criminal offenses above may serve as underlying crimes to the robbery, which will enhance (increase) the punishment upon conviction. (Note that robbery differs from burglary in that the latter generally does not involve the use of physical force.)
A Variety of Charges and Penalties for a Florida Robbery Conviction
State robbery charges go to great lengths to address the many possible manifestations of the crime. All are felonies that bring substantial fines and prison sentences Fla. Stat. § 775.082 & 775.083]. They are:
Robbery in the First Degree: This charge arises if the suspect carried a firearm or other deadly weapon. It is a first-degree felony. Punishment can be up to a $15,000 fine and 30 years in prison, with the possibility of life if the victim was permanently injured. It also can be a capital crime (death sentence) if the victim was killed during the robbery.
Robbery in the Second Degree: If the suspect was not carrying a deadly weapon, the charge is a second-degree felony, with punishment of up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison.
Robbery by sudden snatching: Commonly called “purse snatching,” the perpetrator is charged in one of two ways [Fla. Stat. § 812.131].
- If the suspect carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, the charge is a second-degree felony ($10,000 fine and 15 years in prison).
- If the suspect carried no firearm or other deadly weapon, the offense is a third-degree felony, with punishments of a maximum $5,000 fine and five years prison
Home-Invasion robbery occurs when the suspect enters a dwelling intending to rob the occupants and indeed robs the occupants. Like the previous robbery examples, if the suspect carries a firearm or other deadly weapon, the charge is a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison. If there is no deadly weapon or no weapon at all, the charge is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison [Fla. Stat. § 812.135].
Carjacking [Fla. Stat. § 812.133] is a more serious robbery crime because it almost always involves serious (and violent) confrontations between the robber and the vehicle owner. A suspect commits carjacking if 1) he or she intentionally takes another person’s vehicle with intent to deprive the victim of it and 2) when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear. Charged as a first-degree felony, punishment involves a maximum $15,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.
If in the course of committing the carjacking the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the carjacking is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.
In some cases, carjacking could be charged as a federal crime if the suspect intended to cause death or serious bodily harm: [18 U.S. Code § 2119].
Goldman Wetzel’s experienced criminal attorneys have years of experience defending robbery suspects. If you are facing charges related to any robbery-related offense in the Pinellas or Hillsborough County metropolitan area, contact us at 727-828-3900 or fill out an online contact form to arrange a free evaluation and get started with mounting the best defense available to you.