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Robbery, in any form, is a very serious violent offense in the State of Florida. Many people confuse a "robbery" with a " burglary," by incorrectly stating: "My house got robbed when I was out of town."
A burglary typically occurs when somebody enters another's home with the intent of stealing property from inside that home. A burglary does not involve the taking of property by force from another person.
For more information on burglary crimes in Florida, click here.
Robbery is a general term. There are many different types of robbery in Florida. However, a robbery is loosely defined as the taking of another person's property from that person by putting that person in fear by threat or act, or by producing a weapon, or by using force.
Here are some of the types of robberies in Florida.
Robbery by Sudden Snatch: This crime is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. This crime occurs when somebody snatches (or quickly grabs) an item out of somebody's hand and runs away. This would be like a typical purse-snatching situation. This is only a third-degree felony in Florida because no violence, threats, or harm is used. The only force used is the actually grabbing of the item.
Attempted Strongarm Robbery: Attempted strongarm robbery is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. This crime occurs when somebody tries to steal someone's property, but fails. This is attempted strongarm because some measure of force is used.
Strongarm Robbery: Strongarm robbery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. This occurs when somebody uses force (but no weapon) in order to take property from somebody else. This would be like somebody punching or wrestling with another person in order to steal their personal property.
Attempted Armed Robbery (Without a Firearm): Attempted Armed Robbery, with no firearm, is also a second-degree felony. This crime involves an attempt to take property from somebody, but one that does not succeed, or that the perpetrator is unable to complete. The perpetrator must be armed, but the weapon is not a gun. It may be a knife, baseball bat, or other non-firearm weapon.
Armed Robbery (Without a Firearm): This is a first-degree felony punishable by up to thirty years. This crime involves taking of another's property by threatening violence with a weapon, but a non-firearm weapon.
Armed Robbery With A Firearm: This is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. This is also a non-bondable offense, meaning that your criminal defense attorney must schedule an Arthur Hearing with the judge after the arraignment. I will explain what an Arthur Hearing is later on, but for purposes of this offense, it involves the taking of another's property by threatening harm with a gun.
Armed robbery with a firearm is subject to the mandatory minimum gun laws set forth in Florida's 10-20-Life statute. As stated earlier, somebody arrested for armed robbery with a firearm is automatically given no bond. The only way to possibly get a bond for somebody charged with armed robbery with a firearm is to set an Arthur Hearing. At an Arthur Hearing, the State must prove that the crime occurred by a standard known as "proof evident, presumption great." This is a high standard. If the State meets this standard, then the judge must look to see if the accused is a danger to the community if released on bond. If the accused has prior charges, he or she may be denied bond. If the accused is young, has no prior criminal history, and is in school or has a job, then the judge may be more likely to release the accused on some sort of pretrial release. This pretrial release may include posting a bond, as well as the condition that the accused wear an ankle monitor.
A few other serious robbery offenses are carjacking, armed carjacking, home invasion robbery, and armed home invasion robbery. In the cases of armed carjacking (with a firearm) and armed home invasion robbery (with a firearm), the accused will be held without bond as well.
I represent clients charged with robbery offenses in Miami-Dade County and Broward County. As a criminal attorney who handles robbery cases, I am aware of the seriousness of these charges. A great deal of work goes into a robbery case as there are a number of defenses. One of the more common defenses I see is identity - did the alleged victim identify the right person?
Physical evidence is almost always needed in order for the State of Florida to convict somebody of robbery. I know how to exploit weaknesses in the prosecution's case due to my time as a Miami-Dade prosecutor.
If you or a loved one have been charged with any robbery offense, call me today to set up a free consultation.