Categories of Theft Crimes in Florida Part 2: Robbery

In this continuing series, we explore the various forms of theft allegations in Florida. Last month, we discussed burglary. This month, we focus on Robbery.

With these articles, our goal is to help you better understand the Sunshine State’s legal system. This will give you greater insight into your rights and actions you can take if you are ever accused of a theft crime.

Florida’s Definition of Robbery

Under Florida Statute 812.13(1), "robbery" is defined as taking money or other property from a person by using force, violence, or threats.

Types of Robbery Crimes in Florida

Armed robbery, which involves the use of a weapon to intimidate or threaten the victim.

Strong-arm robbery, which does not involve a weapon. Instead, the perpetrator uses physical force or violence.

Robbery can also involve stealing by force or coercion.

Florida’s Penalties for Robbery Crimes

Robbery With a Weapon

1st degree felony; up to 30 years in prison; fines up to $10,000

Robbery Without a Weapon

2nd degree felony; up to 15 years in prison; fines up to $10,000

If convicted, the alleged offender may also owe their victim restitution.

Defenses Against Robbery Allegations

Insufficient evidence: The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are holes in the evidence against you, you can exploit these inconsistencies as part of your defense.

Mistaken identity: If the victim or witness mistakenly identifies the defendant as the robber, then the defense can argue that the defendant was not actually involved in the crime.

Claim of right: In this claim, the defendant argues that they, in good faith, believed they had a right to the property.

You must, however, be careful with this defense. Remember, that robbery goes beyond simple theft. It also includes violence or the threat of violence. You could still be charged with robbery, even if the property was yours, or your charges could be reduced to an assault and battery crime.

For a robbery defense, a claim of right works best when you are defending yourself or your property from an attacker.

Intoxication: People are often surprised to learn that, sometimes, the law acknowledges how drunkenness affects your behavior. If you were intoxicated at the time of the alleged robbery, then this can be used as an affirmative defense. When effective, this defense will normally reduce the charges.

Duress: If the defendant committed the robbery under duress or threat of harm, then this can be used as a defense.

For example, imagine someone is held at gunpoint and forced to commit a robbery. Violent criminals often use tactics like these to legally distance themselves from a crime.

Next month, we will discuss grand and petit theft in Florida.

The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. is here to provide quality criminal defense for you. If you need help fighting theft charges, contact our office online or call us at (561) 475-2752 today.


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