Robbery involves theft, but it is not considered to be a theft crime. It is considered to be a violent crime because for an act of theft to be charged as an act of robbery, the offender must have used force or threat of force to coerce the victim into compliance.
Like other violent crimes, a robbery conviction has steep criminal penalties. Individuals who are charged with robbery are advised to work with experienced criminal defense lawyers to fight their charges to potentially avoid these penalties.
How a Robbery Offense is Charged in Florida
A robbery charge is subject to a few variables. The most important of these variables is whether the alleged act was committed with the use of a weapon or not.
Armed robbery is a first degree felony, whereas robbery without a weapon is a second degree felony. Although robbery with any weapon, deadly or not, is charged as a first degree felony, the deadliness of the weapon may be considered during sentencing. Typically, a first degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, but a guilty defendant’s sentence can be as long as life in prison. A first degree felony conviction also carries a $10,000 fine. If the individual is a “habitual felony offender” meaning that he or she has previous felony convictions on his or her record, this is considered as well.
When a robbery is committed without the use of a weapon, it may be charged as a second degree felony. The penalties for this are incarceration for up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possible Defenses to a Robbery Charge
Never assume that a charge is an automatic conviction. There are always possible defense strategies for a robbery charge or any other criminal charge. Your defense strategy could involve one or more of the following elements:
A lack of evidence linking you to the crime. This could be a lack of evidence to show that you were the one who robbed the victim or a lack of evidence that a robbery occurred at all;
Your desperation in an emergency situation. For example, if you reasonably believed that you were at risk of being harmed or that your actions prevented the injury or death of another party, this can be part of your defense strategy;
If evidence against you was collected using illegal means, such as a search without a warrant or questioning that violated your civil rights, that evidence could be inadmissible in court; and
If the court cannot prove that you intended to commit the act of robbery.
Work with an Experienced Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer
A robbery charge is not like other theft charges. If you are facing a robbery charge in Florida, be proactive and start working on your case’s defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. To learn more, contact our team at All Criminal Defense Law Group, P.A. at 813-672-1900 today to set up your initial legal consultation with a member of our firm.