A distinction can be made between two types of robbery in the State of Florida.
Strong-arm robbery and Robbery by Sudden Snatching. Both of which are felonies.
A strong-arm robbery is essentially the taking of somebody's property by force or threat of force without the use of a weapon.
A robbery by sudden snatching means that property was taken from the victim without the use of force or threat of force. Basically, a purse snatching is a textbook robbery by sudden snatching.
A strong-arm robbery carries a maximum of 15 years in prison (second-degree felony) whereas a robbery by sudden snatching carries a maximum of 5 years in prison (third-degree felony).
Factual distinctions can be made between the two offenses. First off, a robbery by sudden snatching occurs with minimal force. Somebody grabs something from your hands.
A strong-arm robbery requires use of force or the threat of force in order for the perpetrator to get the property from the victim. If somebody threatens to hurt you if you don't turn over your wallet or cellphone would be an example of strong-arm robbery.
These factual differences are important to understand and can make the difference between going to state prison and perhaps getting probation. A good defense attorney must evaluate a case to see if the offense is overcharged (for instance, a strong-arm robbery that factually should be a robbery by sudden snatching).
If you have been accused of robbery in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach, call me to discuss your options.