Nearly 17,000 robberies were reported in the state of Florida in 2018, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Furthermore, over 5,700 arrests were made for robbery crimes during that year.
If you are arrested for robbery in Florida, you could face serious penalties if you are convicted. That’s why it’s so important to seek advice and guidance from a Tampa criminal defense attorney. But for now, it’s in your best interest to understand what constitutes robbery, how this criminal offense is classified in the state of Florida, and what penalties the court could impose on you in the event you are convicted.
What is Robbery in Florida?
There are four different types of robbery crimes in Florida:
- Robbery by sudden snatching
- Home invasion robbery
The law defines robbery as the act of using force, violence, or assault to take another person’s property with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive that person of their property. This crime is very similar to theft, however robbery involves the use of force, violence, or assault in the commission of the crime, whereas theft does not. For this reason, robbery is considered a more serious offense than theft.
A robbery is considered “robbery by sudden snatching” if the property is stolen directly off of the victim’s person. For example, if you are accused of stealing someone’s purse while they were carrying it, this would be considered robbery by sudden snatching.
Carjacking is another type of robbery crime. A robbery is considered carjacking if the property that was stolen is a vehicle.
Finally, there is home invasion robbery, which is defined as the act of entering a dwelling and committing a robbery inside. For example, if you break into a home and rob the people inside, this is considered a home invasion robbery.
Is Robbery A Felony or Misdemeanor in Florida?
All robbery crimes—robbery, robbery by sudden snatching, carjacking, and home invasion robbery—are classified as felonies in the state of Florida. But the degree of the felony offense you are charged with will vary depending on the nature of your crime. To be more specific, the type of felony charge you will face will depend on whether or not you used a firearm or weapon while committing the crime.
For example, if you commit robbery with a firearm or weapon, you will face first degree felony charges. However, if you commit robbery without the use of a firearm or weapon, you will face second degree felony charges.
Being in possession of a firearm or weapon can also increase your robbery by sudden snatching charges. If you commit robbery by sudden snatching with a firearm or weapon, the crime is a second degree felony. But if the crime did not involve the use of a firearm or weapon, it is a third degree felony.
The rules are slightly different for carjacking and home invasion robbery offenses. Both of these crimes are classified as first degree felonies regardless of whether or not you used a firearm or deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. However, the maximum penalties are increased if the carjacking or home invasion robbery involved the use of a firearm or deadly weapon. So although the charge remains the same, the penalties are far more severe for defendants who used a firearm or weapon to commit carjacking or home invasion robbery.
What Penalties Will You Face If You Are Convicted of Robbery?
The authorities in the state of Florida aggressively prosecute robbery, which is considered a violent crime. If you are convicted of any robbery offense, you should expect far more than a slap on the wrist.
The exact penalties you could face for a robbery conviction will depend on what crime you have been charged with.
Several robbery crimes, including robbery without the use of a weapon and robbery by sudden snatching with the use of a firearm or weapon, are classified as second degree felonies. If you are convicted of a second degree felony, you could face up to 15 years in prison in addition to $10,000 in fines.
One robbery crime, which is robbery by sudden snatching without the use of a weapon, is a third degree felony. If convicted of this crime, the court could sentence you to up to five years in prison as well as $5,000 in fines.
The most serious robbery crimes are first degree felonies. If you are convicted of robbery with the use of a weapon, home invasion without the use of a weapon, or carjacking without the use of a weapon, you could face up to 30 years in prison in addition to $15,000 in fines.
But if you are convicted of using a firearm or deadly weapon while committing robbery, carjacking, or home invasion robbery, you could face life in prison.
There’s no doubt that a robbery conviction can completely disrupt your life and cost you your freedom. That’s why it’s crucial that you aggressively fight robbery charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney may drastically improve your chances of avoiding the most serious penalties of a robbery conviction.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Have you been charged with robbery, robbery by sudden snatching, carjacking, or home invasion robbery in Florida? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. With over 125 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys know what it takes to help the accused clear their name and fight their charges.
Don’t face robbery charges on your own—turn to our criminal defense attorneys for help. Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with our team regarding your criminal case.