Robbery (Armed Robbery with a Firearm, Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, Strong Arm Robbery)
There are few crimes that are more serious than Robbery. The guidelines score out at prison and if a firearm is used, there are significant minimum mandatory sentences that come into play.
Robbery is defined in Florida Statute Section 812.13. To prove the crime of Robbery, the State must prove:
- You took the money or property from the person or custody of the victim, and
- force, violence, assault or putting in fear was used in the course of the taking, and
- the property taken was of some value, and
- the taking was with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or to appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
An "assault" is an intentional and unlawful threat, either by word or act, to do violence to a victim, when it appears the person making the threat has the ability to carry out the threat, and the act creates in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that violence is about to take place.
"In the course of the taking" means that the act occurred prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property and that the act and the taking of the property constitutes a continuous series of acts or events.
This issue is common in a bank or store robbery where the person hands the teller or cashier a note that says something to the effect of, "Give me the money." Although no actual threat is made and there may be no mention of a weapon or threat, the simple fact that you walked into a bank or store and handed the teller or cashier a note may be enough for a reasonable person to be placed in fear.
It doesn't even matter if the actual teller or cashier testifies at trial that they were not afraid. If the jury concludes that a reasonable person would be in fear, you could be found guilty of robbery.
It would still be considered a robbery even if the person the property was taken from wasn't the actual owner. For example, if someone borrowed a cell phone from a friend and you took that cell phone from the person at gunpoint, you would be guilty of robbery, even though the cell phone did not belong to the victim.
The amount of force required for a person to be convicted of a robbery is very minimal. In fact, the victim doesn't have to resist at all if they fear death or great bodily harm. For example, if a group of boys surround one boy and demand his lunch money, the boy does not have to resist if he reasonably fears that the group of boys will cause great bodily harm.
The taking must be by the use of force or violence or by assault so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that the victim does not resist. The law does not require that the victim of the robbery resist to any particular extent or that the victim offer any actual physical resistance if the circumstances are such that the victim is placed in fear of death or great bodily harm if he or she does resist. But unless prevented by fear, there must be some resistance to make the taking one done by force or violence.
It would still be considered a robbery if you took the property from an area where the victim had control. For example, if the victim was standing outside his car, and you pulled a gun on him, went into the car and took a cell phone, it would still be a robbery, even though you didn't take the property from the actual victim because he had control over the car and you could not take the property without the use of force, violence, or intimidation of the victim.
Armed Robbery is simply robbery with a firearm or weapon. If you carry a firearm or weapon in the course of committing the robbery, it is armed robbery.
A "weapon" is any object that could be used to cause death or inflict serious bodily harm.
A "deadly weapon" is any weapon used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
10 year minimum mandatory sentence up to life in prison
Armed Robbery with a Firearm (No Actual Possession of Firearm)
Up to life in prison
Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
Up to life in prison
Armed Robbery with a Weapon
Up to 30 years in prison
Robbery (Strong Arm - No Weapon)
Up to 15 years in prison
There may be many defenses to your particular robbery case, but some common defenses include that the actual taking was an afterthought after the use of force. For example, if you get into a mutual fight with someone during an argument and after the fight is over, you decide to take an item of theirs, you would have the "afterthought" defense, which would make the act a theft, rather than a robbery, if the jury agreed. Other defenses include that you did not use force, violence, assault or putting in fear during the taking. There are many different defenses unique to each set of facts. Give us a call to discuss your case.
Strong Arm Robbery,
Armed Robbery with a Firearm,
Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, or
Armed Robbery with a Weapon,
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