Stealing another person’s property to obtain or to use it with intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the other person of the property typically qualifies as a theft offense. However, if an alleged offender directly takes money or any other property from another person, then the crime can be considered a robbery.
This criminal offense has different grades of severity, but it is generally a more serious charge than theft or even burglary. Because these cases involve harm against alleged victims, prosecutors will often seek harsh prison sentences and very heavy fines.
St. Petersburg Attorney for Robbery Charges in FL
If you were arrested in Florida for allegedly taking money or some other kind of property from another person with the use or threat of force, it is critical that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Melinda Morris is a former State Attorney’s Office felony prosecutor who knows what types of evidence to seek out in investigating these types of case.
Our Pinellas County robbery attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. fight to get charges reduced or dismissed for clients in Pasco County, Sarasota County, Manatee County, and Hillsborough County. Call violent crime attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 388-4736 to set up a free, confidential consultation that will allow our firm to review your case and discuss your legal options.
Florida Robbery Information Center
- What are the different kinds of this crime?
- How long could a person be sentenced to prison if convicted?
- What could happen if alleged offenders have previous felony convictions?
- Are all robbery charges disqualified from sealing in FL?
- Does robbery no weapon fall under PRR Guidelines?
- Robbery crime rate down during COVID-19 pandemic
- Additional Resources
Florida Statute § 812.13 defines this crime as an alleged offender taking money or some other kind of property which may be the subject of larceny from another person with the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear and the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property. These types of criminal offenses have various names and degrees of severity.
Crimes under this statute include:
- Armed Robbery — This term describes a crime committed by an alleged offender who carried a firearm or weapon during the commission of the alleged offense. It is classified as a first-degree felony.
- Strong-Arm Robbery — This term describes a crime committed by an alleged offender who did not carry a firearm or weapon during the commission of the alleged offense. It is classified as a second-degree felony.
There are also two other criminal offenses listed in this chapter that also carry serious consequences. These include:
- Home-Invasion Robbery, Florida Statute § 812.135 — This term describes any robbery that occurs when an alleged offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and does commit a robbery of the occupants therein. It is classified as a first-degree felony, regardless of whether the alleged offender was carrying a firearm or weapon during the commission of the alleged offense, although a firearm or other deadly weapon does increase the maximum possible sentence.
- Robbery by sudden snatching, Florida Statute § 812.131 — This term describes the taking of money or other property from the alleged victim’s person with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive him or her of the money or other property and when, in the course of the taking, the alleged victim was or became aware of the taking. This crime does not need to involve any amount of additional force by the alleged offender, any resistance by the alleged victim, or any injury to the victim’s person. If the alleged offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon during the commission of this crime, it is classified as a second-degree felony, but it is a third-degree felony if the alleged offender was not carrying a deadly weapon or firearm.
Alleged offenders charged with any variation of this crime are likely facing some very stiff consequences if convicted. Generally, the statutory maximum sentences are determined by the grade of the criminal offense.
This usually means that a person convicted of robbery could face on of the following sentences, depending on the specific alleged offense:
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000.
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 30 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
However, it is important to understand that the Florida Statutes for specific offenses allow for possible life imprisonment for certain first-degree felony offenses. An alleged offender could be sentenced to life in prison if he or she is convicted of carrying a firearm or other deadly weapon during the commission of either robbery or home invasion robbery.
While the maximum possible sentences allow alleged offenders to know what the “worst-case scenarios” might be for their cases, it is also critical to remember that certain types of these crimes involving guns may be eligible for harsh mandatory minimum sentences under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law. Under Florida Statute § 775.087, a person could face the following punishments if any of the following applies to the commission of the robbery or home invasion robbery offense for which he or she is convicted:
- At least three years in prison if the alleged offender possessed a firearm;
- At least 10 years in prison if the alleged offender pulled out or brandished a firearm;
- At least 20 years in prison if the alleged offender discharged the firearm; or
- At least 25 years up to life in prison if alleged offender shoots another person with firearm, regardless of whether that person is injured or killed.
Alleged offenders who have been previously convicted of felony offenses can also be subject to enhanced sentences if they are considered repeat offenders under Florida Statute § 775.084. People can face extended terms of imprisonment if they are convicted of robbery and designated as habitual violent felony offenders or if they are convicted of robbery or home invasion robbery and are designated as three-time violent felony offenders.
Are All Robbery Charges Disqualified from Sealing in Florida?
The state of Florida allows some to seal or expunge their criminal records under certain conditions. Sealing a criminal record is when the charge or arrest has been hidden by the public and only government and some licensing agencies will be able to access it. Expunging your record is when no one can view the charge or arrest, not even a government agency.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to seal your record if you’ve been charged or arrested for robbery. Robbery is a disqualifiable offense and cannot be sealed even if your adjudication was withheld by a judge. Robbery isn’t the only crime that doesn’t qualify for sealing or expungement. Other crimes such as terrorism, carjacking, or burglary of a dwelling.
Does Robbery No Weapon Fall Under PRR Guidelines?
In Florida, there exists a special set of punishments for defendants who are classified as Prison Releasee Reoffenders (PRRs). These defendants have committed a serious crime within three years of being released from a federal or state prison. To be classified as a PRR, the crime must be punishable by at least 12 months in prison. The PRR program allows criminal prosecutors to seek enhanced penalties for repeat offenders and not follow sentencing guidelines.
Unfortunately, robbery even without a weapon is a felony that could qualify you for PRR status. If you commit another offense punishable by up to one year within three years of release, the judge will have to give you the maximum sentence according to the degree of the crime. You will then be forced to carry out your whole sentence in prison without any chance for parole or any form of early release.
Robbery Crime Rate Down During COVID-19 Pandemic
The year 2020 brought a new challenge that no one expected to face known as COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the infrastructure of our nation, including our crime rates and trends. According to a preliminary report by the FBI, it seems all property crimes have gone down at least 8 percent compared to last year. This includes robbery offenses.
The FBI reported that robbery offenses were down 7.1 % from January to June 2020 compared to the first six months of 2019. The decrease in robbery crimes can be attributed to several factors. One is there is less people out and about, so there are less opportunities to commit robbery. Another may be fear of touching another person in the middle of a pandemic. Stealing a purse or wallet may be much more daunting now that COVID-19 may be a byproduct of that act.
Florida Robbery Statute – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, which is a collection of Florida laws and legislation, to learn more about the statute for robbery. Access the site to learn the elements for robbery, penalties, legal definitions, and other violent crimes.
COVID-19 Information and Updates | Pinellas County Court – Visit the official website for the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court to learn more about their COVID-19 restrictions and updates. Access the site to look up their mask requirements, social distancing rules, how violence injunction hearings now work, and what happens if you violate quarantine.
Robbery Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg, FL
Are you facing charges of allegedly taking money or some other kind of property from another person? You will want to have skilled legal representation as soon as possible.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and many surrounding communities. Our Pinellas County robbery attorneys will provide a thorough review of your case when you call (727) 388-4736 today to schedule a free consultation.