Robbery in Orlando, Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF ROBBERY IN FLORIDA?
Under Sec. 812.13, Florida Statutes, robbery in Florida is committed when you intentionally take money or other property from someone else using force, violence, assault, or threats. It does not matter whether you intended to deprive the other person of their money or property permanently or temporarily; either case constitutes robbery.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR ROBBERY IN FLORIDA?
|Maximum Prison Time
|Robbery (Strong-arm Robbery), a second-degree felony
|Up to 15 years
The charge carries a severity level of 6 (or 36 points) under the Criminal Punishment Code. Assuming there are no aggravating circumstances (such as prior criminal convictions), there is no minimum mandatory sentence. This means that even though the judge can sentence you up to the maximum prison time, the judge is not required to order any amount of prison time.
HOW CAN I FIGHT A CHARGE OF ROBBERY?
Claim of Right:
Some courts have held that you cannot be convicted of robbery if you have a good-faith belief that you are the rightful owner of the property or entitled to immediate possession of it. In such cases, there is no criminal intent, as you are simply trying to take back what you believe to be yours, and thus cannot be found guilty (reversing a robbery conviction where the defendant took a cell phone he believed to belong to him).
Robbery is not committed unless you used force, threats, or the like to take the property in question. Therefore, there is no robbery if you use threats or force against someone for a different purpose and then take the property as an afterthought.
Other Potential Defenses:
In addition to the Claim of Right and Afterthought Defense, there are several other potential defenses that can be utilized to challenge a charge of robbery in Florida:
Motion to Suppress:
If evidence was obtained by law enforcement in violation of your constitutional rights, such as an unlawful search or seizure, your defense attorney can file a motion to suppress that evidence. If the court grants the motion, the prosecution may lose crucial evidence, weakening their case against you.
An alibi defense involves providing evidence that you were not present at the scene of the robbery when it occurred. This could include witness testimonies, surveillance footage, or any other documentation that supports your claim of being elsewhere during the incident.
Your defense attorney can challenge the prosecution’s case by arguing that there is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to present enough credible evidence, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed.
In some cases, witnesses may misidentify the perpetrator of a robbery. Your defense attorney can investigate the reliability of witness statements and present evidence that raises doubts about the accuracy of the identification, casting doubt on your involvement in the crime.
Coercion or Duress:
If you were forced to commit the robbery under threats of harm or violence to yourself or your loved ones, your defense attorney can argue that you acted out of coercion or duress. This defense highlights that you were a victim in the situation and should not be held fully responsible for the crime.
In certain situations, if you were involuntarily intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol without your knowledge, your defense attorney can use this as a defense to mitigate your culpability in the robbery.
It’s important to remember that each case is unique, and the appropriate defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the robbery charge. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney, like those at Leppard Law, is crucial to build a strong defense tailored to your case.
If you are facing a charge of robbery in Florida, do not hesitate to contact Leppard Law. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys will review your case, identify the best defense strategy, and fight vigorously to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What distinguishes robbery from other theft crimes in Florida?
Unlike other theft crimes, robbery involves the use of force, violence, assault, or threats to take money or property from another person. This element of coercion sets it apart from other theft offenses.
2. Is it possible to have a robbery charge reduced to a lesser offense?
A: In some cases, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal to reduce the charge to a lesser offense, such as grand theft or petit theft. However, the feasibility of such a plea deal will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the strength of the defense presented.
3. What should I look for when hiring a criminal defense attorney for a robbery charge?
When hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you in a robbery case, consider their experience, track record of success, knowledge of Florida criminal law, and their ability to build a strong defense tailored to your situation. It’s essential to work with an attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
4. Can I be charged with robbery if I did not physically take the property?
Yes, in Florida, you can still be charged with robbery even if you did not personally take the property. If you aided, abetted, or acted as an accomplice to the robbery, you may be held criminally liable for the offense. This principle is known as “accessory liability” or “acting in concert.”
5. What are some potential legal consequences for a conviction of robbery with a weapon?
Robbery with a weapon, including a firearm or deadly weapon, carries more severe penalties than simple robbery. If convicted, you may face increased prison time, higher fines, and other enhanced sentencing measures. It’s crucial to have a strong defense to mitigate these potential consequences.
6. How long does a robbery charge stay on my criminal record if I am convicted?
A conviction for robbery can have long-term consequences on your criminal record. In Florida, criminal records are generally permanent, and a robbery conviction will be part of your record unless you take legal steps to have it expunged or sealed, if eligible, after meeting specific criteria.
7. Can I face federal charges for robbery in Florida?
Generally, robbery is prosecuted at the state level, but certain circumstances could lead to federal charges, such as if the robbery involved crossing state lines, occurred on federal property, or involved federal agencies in the investigation. Federal charges can carry even more severe penalties, making it crucial to have skilled legal representation in such cases.
8. What role does intent play in a robbery case?
Intent is a crucial element in a robbery case. To convict someone of robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the specific intent to take the property from the victim using force, violence, assault, or threats. Without establishing criminal intent, a robbery charge may not hold up in court.
9. Can a juvenile be charged with robbery in Florida?
Yes, juveniles can be charged with robbery in Florida. However, the juvenile justice system operates differently from the adult criminal justice system, focusing more on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Juvenile defendants may have access to diversion programs and alternative sentencing options.
10. What steps should I take if I believe I am wrongfully accused of robbery?
If you believe you are wrongfully accused of robbery, the first step is to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess the details of your case, gather evidence to support your innocence, and build a strong defense to protect your rights and prove your innocence in court.
Regardless of your innocence or guilt or the evidence, these crimes are serious charges. Call us today at 407-476-4111 or fill out our contact form to get started on taking control of your life back.