Many boys play the game “Cops and Robbers.” This sometimes is not a game but a reality. There are two types of robbery: (1) strong-arm robbery and (2) robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm. A robbery is where an individual uses force or threats to take property from another person. Robbery is different from theft because theft is the taking of property but no force or threat is made. A strong arm robbery is where the person uses their strong arms to force the property from the person or threaten violence. A robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm can be just pointing a gun at someone or motioning with a knife that you are going to stab the person.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released crime statistics in 2013 of the number of robberies for Palm Beach County with 1,731, Broward County with 2,980 and Miami-Dade County with 6,370.
What the State Prosecutor has to Prove to Convict You of Robbery
The state prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You grabbed the property from another person;
- You used force, violence, assault, or put the person in fear to take the property;
- The property had value; and
- The taking was with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his right to the property or any benefit from it.
An assault is an intentional and unlawful threat, verbally or by action, to do violence to a victim, it reasonably appears the person 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. For example, a big guy saying, “I’m going to smash your face in” or a guy making slashing motions with a knife would both be committing assault.
The assault would have to put a reasonable person in fear but does not have to put the intended victim in fear. See Smithson v. State. For example, if a big guy says, “I’m going to smash your face in” to a navy seal, the seal might smile and say, “Ok. Let’s rock-in-roll.”
The robber has to be intending to take the property with force, assault, or violence and not taking the property after committing the force, assault, or violence. For example, a big guy who got angry and knocks-out his victim cannot be charged for robbery if he then gets the afterthought to take the knocked-out victim’s wallet. See DeJesus v. State.
A firearm is what we commonly call a gun. A deadly weapon is a weapon used or threatened to be used in a way that will cause death or great bodily harm.
Punishment for Strong- Arm Robbery
The Florida Punishment Code ranks strong-arm robbery as a level 6 offense. Strong-arm robbery is a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Punishment for Robbery with a Deadly Weapon or Firearm
The Florida Punishment Code ranks robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm as level 9. Robbery with a firearm is first-degree felony that is punishable up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine and it has a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.
Robbery with a deadly weapon is a first-degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine and it has a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.
If you are not convicted for the robbery, you can be found guilty for other crimes you might have committed during the commission of the robbery such as theft, battery, assault, etc. See Spencer v. State; see also Stuckey v. State .
Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
The crime of robbery is serious. Prosecutors will aggressively prosecute these types of crimes. If you are being charged with this crime, call our law offices to schedule a free 15 minute case strategy. We want to talk to you about what you observed about the event. We will take depositions of the individuals involved to find out if anyone else saw anything. This evidence will go into creating a tailored defense specific to your case. We will fight your case all the way to trial; however, sometimes cases just cannot be won. In this situation, our attorneys will still keep on defending you by trying to convince the prosecutor and judge to change the charges or reduce the sentence. Know that we will be striving every inch of the way to get the best outcome possible.