What are the Elements of Robbery

The term robbery is often used as a catch-all for any type of theft. However, despite common misconceptions robbery is a very specific charge in the eyes of the law.

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.” This is a very serious charge and as such, requires a strong defense.

If you have been charged with robbery or burglary, it is imperative to contact a robbery defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible. Your attorney will work with you to understand your charges and will discuss your legal rights as well as the best defense possible. In this post, an attorney shares the different elements of a robbery that prosecution must prove.


In Florida, a key element of robbery is taking property that belongs to another person. In order to prove a charge of robbery, a few criteria must be satisfied:

  • A victim’s money or property must be either permanently or temporarily taken without their consent
  • The money or property does not have to belong to the victim, it just has be in the victim’s possession
  • It must be taken from the victim’s body, within the victim’s immediate vicinity or from a place which is under the control of the victim.

Use of Force or Threat

In order to be classified as a robbery, there must be an implied or obvious use of force or threat. This can be either intimidation of physical force or the use of a weapon (whether or not it is deadly). It is also important to note that the threat or use of force does not have to take place before the item is taken. For example, if you steal someone’s handbag and they run after you, but you stop and threaten them with a weapon, it becomes an armed robbery.


In order to be convicted of the crime of robbery, the prosecutor must prove intent. This means that you cannot accidentally rob someone. Rather, there must be a conscious effort to deprive someone of their belonging(s).


When charged with a robbery, it is important to note that there is no set limit on the value of the property being stolen. Rather, any property that is stolen that meets the above criteria may result in the charge of a robbery.

How are Robbery Charges Classified?

Robbery charges are felonies that fall under the following classifications:

  • First Degree: Robbery committed with a firearm or any deadly weapon.
  • Second Degree: Robbery committed without a firearm or any deadly weapon. Also called “Strong Arm” robbery.
  • Sudden Snatching: Taking a person’s property while the victim is aware of the act. For example, stealing a woman’s purse from her person and running.
  • Home Invasion: Entering someone’s home while occupants are present with the intention and the actual committing of a robbery.
  • Carjacking: Taking a vehicle from someone by force, fear, violence, or assault. Whether or not a firearm or deadly weapon is used, this could lead to a first-degree felony conviction.

Do not attempt to handle robbery or burglary charges alone. You should contact a robbery or burglary defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm immediately upon being accused or arrested. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.

For a free consultation with a robbery defense attorney 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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