The crime of robbery involves the use of force (or threat of force) to take property from another person, somewhat of a hybrid of theft and assault. For example, stopping someone in the street, showing that you have a gun, and demanding their wallet is a form of robbery. But quietly following that same person and pick-pocketing them is theft, since there was no use or threat of force. As you may have guessed, robbery is the more serious offense and is charged as a felony in Florida and other states.
Florida Robbery Laws at a Glance
Florida Statutes Title XLVI. § 812.13 - 812.135
|Statutory Definition of Robbery
“Robbery” means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
|Elements of Robbery
- Taking: The prosecutor must show that the defendant took money or property without consent from the owner or possessor. The defendant must have taken the money or property from the victim's body, from the victim's immediate vicinity, or from a separate place within the victim's control.
- Force or Threat: The prosecutor must prove that the defendant obtained the money or property from the victim by using intimidation, threat, or physical force to cause the victim to feel fear. The act of force or threat may take place before, during, or after the taking of the victim's property, as long as the prosecutor shows a continuous sequence of events.
- Property: The taken property must have at least some value, though the value might be extremely low. For example, even a few dollars might become the basis for a robbery charge if the prosecutor can establish the other elements of the crime.
- Intent: The prosecutor must show that the defendant had a specific intent to temporarily or permanently take control of the property and deprive the owner of the property.
Note: Florida state laws also establish specific types of robbery, including "robbery by sudden snatching," carjacking, and home-invasion robbery. Each type of robbery includes the same general elements of the crime, but adds specific circumstances required for the offense. For example, carjacking is robbery with an intent to take a motor vehicle from the owner or other person in control of the vehicle.
|Robbery: Classifications, Sentences, and Penalties
- Without a deadly weapon: 2nd degree felony (up to 15 years in prison)
- With a deadly weapon: 1st degree felony (up to life in prison)
- Home invasion with or without a deadly weapon: 1st degree felony (up to life in prison)
- Ownership or right of possession to the property
- Consent or authorization given voluntarily by the owner or possessor of the property
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Florida Robbery Laws: Related Resources
Get Legal Help with Your Robbery Case in Florida
Unlike simple theft, robbery involves the threat or use of force and, for that reason, carries a much stiffer sentence upon conviction. But regardless of your criminal charges, you always have the right to defend yourself in court. The best way to put forth your strongest defense is to reach out to a criminal defense attorney who will have experience with Florida robbery laws and know the most effective arguments to make in your defense.