The criminal offense of robbery is one of the more common serious charges faced by defendants in Florida. Robbery convictions can carry stiff sentences and are typically prosecuted more aggressively than other property crimes. While many criminal offenses can be lumped into broad categories like property crime, drug crime, or violent crime, robbery encompasses multiple categories because it is considered both a violent offense and a property crime. Partly because of the dual nature of the crime of robbery, prosecutors and judges take the offense very seriously. Anyone facing a robbery conviction should not hesitate to retain a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to represent them right away.
Robbery is defined and prohibited under Florida Statute Section 812.13. Under the law, robbery is defined as the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of theft from the person or custody of another, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the money or the property. In order for the offense to be considered a robbery as opposed to a theft, the prosecution must also show that in the course of the taking of the property, the defendant used force, violence, assault, or “putting in fear.”
What separates robbery from other property crimes is the element of force, violence or fear. Those additional elements are also what make the offense of robbery a more serious crime that people often face jail or prison for. Where typical property offenses like grand theft or even burglary do not often involve any violence or even interaction between the victim and defendant, robbery necessarily involves a violent or fearful encounter. Because prosecutors and judges often seek stiff penalties for robbery convictions, it is important that anyone facing such charges seek a skilled Sarasota criminal lawyer for representation.
Robbery on its own is a second degree felony offense. This means that the maximum allowable sentence is 15 years in prison. This alone is a significant potential sentence, but the robbery statute allows for additional enhancements under certain circumstances. If, during the course of the robbery, the state is able to prove that the defendant was in possession of any weapon, then the offense is enhanced to a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty years in prison. And if during the robbery, the prosecution can prove that the defendant carried either a firearm or a deadly weapon, then the offense is a felony punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment. Florida’s 10/20/life statute will also kick in under those circumstances, leading to certain mandatory minimums. For carrying a firearm, the mandatory minimum is ten years. If the gun is fired during the robbery, the minimum becomes twenty years. And if someone is injured by a firearm, then the mandatory minimum becomes life imprisonment.
Robbery is not a criminal offense to joke about. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a defendant can face a possible life sentence. Even in less serious robbery cases, prosecutors often seek lengthy jail sentences. Hiring a skilled and dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to build your case can often mean the difference between prison and freedom.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending clients from all manner of criminal charges. We pride ourselves on achieving and exceeding the goals of our clients and obtaining results that other firms might not even attempt to seek. The vast and varied experience of the lawyers at our firm can be a valuable asset for you or your loved one facing criminal charges. Do not try to handle criminal charges on your own or with a lawyer that you feel uncomfortable with. Instead, schedule a consultation with our firm at 941.462.1789.