Defenses Against Robbery and Burglary

The charges of robbery and burglary are very serious in the State of Florida. These terms are often used interchangeably, despite their differences, but carry similar penalties and similar defense methods. In this brief article, a robbery defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares the quick definitions of robbery and burglary, as well as possible defenses for both. 

Related: What Is the Difference Between Larceny, Petit Theft, and Burglary or Robbery?

Quick Definitions of Burglary and Robbery

Burglary, by definition, is unlawfully entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime inside; or the lawful entry into a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, but then remaining inside either with the intent to commit a crime; or after permission to remain has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit a crime inside; or with the intent to commit a forcible felony.

The biggest difference between robbery and burglary boils down to violence. Under Florida Statute 812.13(1), the term “robbery” means “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.”

Related: What Are the Elements of Robbery?

Possible Punishments for Robbery or Burglary

Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code clarifies the level and severity of robbery and burglary and the penalties that may be inflicted, including up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine up to $10,000 for robbery in the second degree. The punishment for robbery and burglary in the first degree is imprisonment for a term of years to be determined by the judge after reviewing the circumstances of the case. Burglary with Assault or Battery is also a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

Defenses for Burglary or Robbery

If you have been arrested for or accused of burglary or robbery, you could have multiple defenses available to you. As often as accusations are made, it can be incredibly difficult for the accuser to provide evidence or evidence of intent. A skilled attorney can attack the State’s lack of evidence, such as eyewitness identification, fingerprints, or DNA, to establish that the charge cannot be proven. 


A common defense is that the person accused of the crime did not commit nor assist in the burglary or robbery but was charged because a friend or family member entered a dwelling, structure, or conveyance without the knowledge of the other that they did not have permission to do so. In these cases, simply being a bystander is not a crime. 

Finally, in order to be convicted of burglary or robbery, the state is required to prove the person accused had the intent to commit a crime. Therefore, a lack of criminal intent is also a defense. Further, if the accusation of robbery is due to a threat, it becomes a game of “he-said, she-said,” which can be hard to prove. If you have been accused of robbery or burglary, contact a burglary defense lawyer in Tampa withThe Rickman Law Firm to discuss the best defense for your specific case. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.

For a free consultation with a burglary defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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