Robbery by Sudden Snatching in Florida: An Attorney’s Guide
Under Sec. 812.131, Florida Statutes, the elements of Robbery by Sudden Snatching in Florida are as follows:
- A person intentionally took money or other property from another person’s body; AND
- The other person was or became aware of the taking while the robbery was ongoing.
It is important to note that under the law, there is no difference whether you sought to deprive the other person of their money or property permanently or only temporarily; either case would still constitute robbery. Moreover, unlike Strong Arm Robbery, the State is not required to prove that you used force or threats to convict you of Robbery by Sudden Snatching.
Penalties for Robbery by Sudden Snatching in Florida
|Type of Robbery
|Robbery by Sudden Snatching Without a Firearm or Deadly Weapon
||Third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years of prison or probation and a $5,000 fine.
||The charge carries a severity level of 5 (or 28 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.
|Robbery by Sudden Snatching with a Firearm or Deadly Weapon
||Second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years of prison or probation and a $10,000 fine.
||The charge carries a severity level of 7 (or 56 points) under the Criminal Punishment Code. Assuming there are no aggravating circumstances, this translates to a minimum permissible sentence of 21 months in prison. The judge cannot impose a lesser sentence unless special circumstances exist for what is called a downward departure from the minimum sentence.
How to Fight a Charge of Robbery by Sudden Snatching
There are several defenses that can be used when facing a charge of robbery by sudden snatching. These include:
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 proper owner of the property or are entitled to immediate possession of it. In such a case, there is no criminal intent because you are simply trying to take back what you believe to be yours, so you cannot be found guilty. (reversing robbery conviction where defendant took a cell phone that 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.
Motion to Suppress:
This is a request made by a defendant in a trial to exclude certain evidence from being presented by the prosecution. The defense would argue that the evidence, perhaps the item alleged to have been snatched, was obtained in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
This involves providing evidence that the defendant was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed. This could involve witness testimony, video footage, or other forms of evidence.
Other potential defenses include moving to throw out evidence that was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, showing that there is no evidence supporting the charge, or showing that you have an alibi. At Leppard Law, we pride ourselves on being available to you at any time of the day. We are determined to provide you with clear answers to any concerns you have regarding your case, as well as the steps we are taking to produce the best possible outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does Florida law say about robbery by sudden snatching?
Under Florida Statute 812.131, robbery by sudden snatching is defined as the intentional and unlawful taking of money or property from another person’s body. The victim must be or become aware of the theft while it is happening.
2. What is considered “in the course of committing a robbery by sudden snatching” according to Florida law?
An act is deemed “in the course of committing a robbery by sudden snatching” if it occurs in an attempt to commit robbery by sudden snatching or in flight after the attempt or commission.
3. What is the significance of the location of the stolen property in a robbery by sudden snatching case?
For a charge of robbery by sudden snatching, the stolen property must have been on the person of the victim. This means that if a defendant steals property from a location near but not on the victim, it may not qualify as robbery by sudden snatching.
4. What is the potential punishment for robbery by sudden snatching in Florida?
Robbery by sudden snatching is a third-degree felony under Florida law, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If a weapon or firearm is carried during the robbery, it is elevated to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
5. What is the intent required for a charge of robbery by sudden snatching?
For a charge of robbery by sudden snatching, the defendant must have intended to permanently deprive the victim of the money or other property. This means that even if the defendant intended to return the property at a later time, they can still be charged with robbery by sudden snatching.
REPRESENTATION FOR ROBBERY BY SUDDEN SNATCHING IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
Take the first step towards building your defense by reaching out to us. It’s important to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and develop a strong defense strategy. At Leppard Law, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible defense. We are available at any time of the day to answer your questions and address your concerns. You can call us at 407-476-4111 or contact us through our website at www.leppardlaw.com. We offer a confidential over-the-phone consultation and are ready to assist you with your case. Don’t wait, contact us today.