Florida Statute 812.13 defines robbery as a felony offense involving an act of intentionally taking another person’s property without their permission. The intent behind the robbery is to permanently or temporarily take away money or any other property for use by the perpetrator or a third person. During the course of the act, some kind of force, violence, assault, or threat is used. The threat can be verbal or non-verbal.
Robbery falls into different categories and the penalties for the offense vary depending on the specific type. If you’ve been charged with robbery, your first move should be to contact your Daytona Beach robbery lawyer. They’ll advise you on the best defenses you can use such as innocence of wrongdoing, intoxication at the time of the incident, or being forced to commit the offense.
Florida State Law Categorizes Robbery into Degrees
The most critical factor that separates robbery and theft is the presence of the victim. Even if the robbery takes place without the victim realizing it, if the victim is present, that would be a robbery.
For instance, a robbery might involve grabbing a shopping bag out of a car that is waiting for the light to turn green at a light. However, if the bag is stolen from a car parked in a parking lot with the owner away getting coffee, that would be a theft.
Third Degree Robbery
Third degree robbery is the lowest category and carries the least serious penalties. If the robbery is committed without using any kind of violence, force, or threat, that’s a third degree offense.
For example, snatching a purse or pickpocketing. A seventh-grade child intimidating another student with threats of hurting them and taking their property is also considered a juvenile offence of robbery in the third degree.
Second Degree Robbery
When the robbery involves some kind of violence and physical harm, that becomes a more serious offense or second degree robbery. There are no weapons used in second degree robbery, but the victim is harmed in some way. For instance, a robbery where the perpetrator pushed the victim down when snatching a cell phone.
First Degree Robbery
This is the most serious robbery offense and carries the maximum penalties. If the robbery involves use of a deadly weapon to threaten, intimidate, or harm the victims, that’s considered a first degree felony.
For instance, during a store robbery, the armed perpetrator enters the store and points a gun at the owner, demanding that he empty the register. The owner hands over the cash and the robber takes off with the money. Although there was no physical injury, the weapon was capable of serious damage.
Penalties for a Robbery
The punishment and penalties robbery will depend on the specific circumstances and the value of the property stolen. Florida state law follows the 10-20-Life rule where a punishment of 10 years, 20 years, or life imprisonment is awarded for a robbery where a firearm or any other destructive device is used. Such incidents are also called aggravated robbery or armed robbery. Here’s what to expect.
Third Degree Penalties
Since this a Class D felony, it carries a maximum of seven years’ prison term. However, if this is the first offense, and the accused does not have any prior convictions, the court may choose to award probation.
Second Degree Penalties
A second degree robbery carries a punishment of up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
First Degree Penalties
A first degree robbery is considered a violent felony offense and carries a possible penalty of life imprisonment along with a fine of $10,000. In some cases, a prison sentence of up to 30 years can also be awarded.
Having a Competent Attorney Represent You is Critical
If you’ve been arrested and accused of robbery, getting competent representation is the first thing you need to do. Your lawyer will be present at the arraignment and put forward your defense.
With more than 20 years of experience, the lawyers at Smith & Eulo are familiar with the strategies of prosecutors and the working of the justice system. They’ll give you advice on what can be done to get the best outcome possible. Considering that a robbery charge can impact your personal life and future career prospects for a long time, you absolutely need the best defense possible.