Florida is one of the worst states in the nation to be charged with a crime. People facing criminal charges in this state end up in prison more often and for longer sentences than defendants in many other states in the USA. As criminal defense attorneys, we often review cases where people have been sentenced to shocking terms for nonviolent offenses and even minor drug possession cases.
In a state where non-violent offenders, drug offenders, and those suffering from mental health problems face serious criminal penalties, you can only imagine what awaits those who are charged with violent offenses involving victims. Violent offenses are treated with the utmost seriousness in Clearwater’s criminal courtrooms and it is therefore critical that you have a skilled Clearwater criminal attorney by your side. A dedicated lawyer can mean the difference between a stiff sentence or a dismissal of your case.
One of those violent offenses that is punished harshly by Florida courts is the criminal charge of robbery. Robbery encompases aspects of both property crimes and violent crimes. Robbery charges often have a victim who was either harmed or put in fear of harm as a result of the defendant’s actions. Any case where such a victim is involved will be pursued vigorously by the state. That is just one of the reasons that, if you are charged with robbery, you’ll need an equally vigorous defense lawyer by your side.Elements Of Robbery
Under Florida statute 812.13, robbery is defined as 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.
The crime of robbery encompasses two distinct elements. First, the prosecution must prove that a defendant took or attempted to take property from the “person or custody” of another. Person means that the property is taken directly from someone. For example, if you steal a phone out of someones hand or out of their pocket, you have taken the property from their “person.” Custody is more broadly defined, but typically means that the property was taken from an area over which the victim exercised control. So if you steal something from inside a person’s car or out of their shopping card in a parking lot, you have likely taken from their “custody.”
Second, the state must prove that, in the course of the taking, you used force, violence, assault or putting in fear. This element is what separates robbery from simple theft. If you threaten someone with a weapon, or beat them up in order to commit a theft, that type of action will satisfy the force element of the robbery statute. The crime of robbery is not as straightforward or obvious as it first seems, and if charged, you should speak to a dedicated Clearwater criminal lawyer right away.
Robbery carries significant penalties if you are convicted. If you are convicted of an unarmed robbery, that offense is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. If, in the course of the robbery, you carried a weapon like a knife or brass knuckles, you could be convicted of a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty years. And finally, if you carried a firearm during a robbery, you could face up to life in prison.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
People sometimes think that they can face criminal charges on their own and believe they can “beat the system.” Those people often end up in the worst position, being taken advantage of by the criminal justice system they hoped to beat. Don’t fall into that category, speak to the dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Hanlon Law today at 727.897.5413.