When it comes to burglary and robbery, two crimes that are often confused with one another, it’s important to understand the defining characteristic that separates these two crimes — 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.”
Although violence is already a component of robbery, it can be escalated into an even more severe crime if the aggressor is carrying a firearm or other deadly weapon. In Florida, this crime may be referred to as robbery, robbery with a firearm, or robbery with a deadly weapon, among other variations of robbery.
In this article, an aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg will cover everything you need to know about armed robbery in Florida. If you are accused of armed robbery, an attorney from The Rickman Law Firm may be able to employ an array of defenses to help reduce or eliminate your sentencing, including the afterthought defense, claim of right defense, mere presence defense, and more.
If an individual commits robbery against another individual and during the course of the crime they are carrying a firearm or other deadly weapon, the act of robbery is considered a first-degree felony. The punishment for robbery in the first degree is imprisonment for a term of years to be determined by the judge after reviewing the circumstances of the case. This term cannot exceed a life sentence.
For reference, the crime of robbery in the second degree, also known as strong arm robbery, is considered a Level 6 (out of 10) offense according to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. Individuals convicted of robbery may face one or more penalties, including up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine up to $10,000. When escalated to the first degree, these penalties only grow in severity.
The “10-20-Life” law in Florida requires courts to subject to a “minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years to life for certain felony convictions involving the use or attempted use of a firearm or destructive device.” First-degree robbery (armed robbery) qualifies for this strict sentencing protocol. This makes it imperative for defendants to consult an aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg if they are charged with armed robbery.
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.