TAMPA ROBBERY DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Work with an Experienced Former Prosecutor
In Tampa, FL, robbery crimes are harshly prosecuted since the offense involves the threat or use of violence. When facing a robbery conviction, you need an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney fighting for your rights. Even an attempted robbery charge can carry harsh penalties depending on the nature of the offense and the individual’s criminal record.
At Buda Law, our Tampa robbery defense lawyers understand the severity of robbery accusations and how they can affect a person for the rest of their life. Since robbery usually involves a level of violence, the crime is considered a felony offense. Felonies typically result in lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. However, the punishments don’t end there. Many offenders who have been convicted of felonies face a lifetime of roadblocks, including losing the right to vote and own a gun.
If you’re facing a robbery conviction, you need the best criminal defense attorney in Tampa. Attorney Andrew Buda has represented countless clients against criminal charges and is prepared to do the same for you. To schedule a free consultation, call Buda Law at (813) 322-2832 or complete our online form today.
Florida Robbery Definition
Robbery is simply defined as the act of taking another person’s property with threats, force, or violence. Due to the nature of the theft crime, robbery is considered a violent criminal offense. While all robbery charges are considered felonies, the severity of the felony charge will depend on the level of violence that occurred, as well as other extenuating circumstances.
Florida Statute 812.13(1)
Florida Statute 812.13(1) is the Florida law that outlines the legal definition and penalties for robbery offenses within the state. According to Florida robbery laws, the crime is considered the act of taking property or money from another person with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive that person of their property by the use of force, assault, violence, or striking fear.
If the offender possesses a firearm or other deadly weapon during the crime, it is considered a first-degree felony. If there is no firearm or deadly weapon present, the robbery is punishable by second-degree felony penalties. The lowest punishment for a robbery offense is a third-degree felony. These robbery crimes typically involve minimal violent actions and no presence of a firearm or deadly weapon.
However, if aggravating factors are present during the crime, the robbery charge and penalties can be escalated. Some examples of aggravating factors include:
Types of Robbery Charges in Florida
Different types of robbery offenses are categorized based on the circumstances surrounding the crime. Listed below are some of the most common robbery offenses in Florida.
Strong-Arm Robbery (Unarmed Robbery)
Strong-arm robbery is a serious criminal offense where the use of violence, force, or threats occurs during the crime but without the presence or use of a firearm or deadly weapon. Strong-arm robbery is also known as unarmed robbery.
Armed robbery is another serious robbery crime in Florida. During an armed robbery, the offender either possesses or uses a firearm or deadly weapon while committing the offense.
Robbery By Snatching
Robbery by snatching is a criminal offense where the victim becomes aware of the robbery. As outlined in Florida Statute 812.131, to be considered robbery by snatching, the offender uses a minimal amount of force and/or the victim fights back against the offender. A robbery by sudden snatching may or may not involve a firearm or deadly weapon.
Home Invasion Robbery
According to Florida Statute 812.135, home invasion robbery occurs when an offender enters the dwelling of another with the intent to rob the occupants. Home invasion robbery is often confused with burglary, but home invasion robbery usually involves the use of force or violence, while burglary does not.
Carjacking occurs when someone takes another’s vehicle using violence, threats, or force. If the offender is carrying a firearm or deadly weapon, the penalties for the offense can increase.
What are the Penalties for Robbery in Florida?
All robbery charges can result in felony penalties, but the severity will depend on the nature of the crime. The most minor robbery crime is considered a third-degree felony, while the most heinous robbery offense is a first-degree felony.
In Florida, a first-degree felony can result in a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 30 years to life in prison. A second-degree felony could result in a maximum penalty of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. A third-degree felony is punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
The penalties for robbery crimes in Florida are as follows:
- Robbery by Sudden Snatching: 3rd-degree felony
- Robbery without Weapons (or Strong-Arm Robbery): 2nd-degree felony
- Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon: 1st-degree felony with life in prison
- Armed Robbery with a Weapon: 1st-degree felony
- Home Invasion Robbery with Weapon: 1st-degree felony
- Home Invasion Robbery with Deadly Weapon: 1st-degree felony with life in prison
- Carjacking without a Weapon: 1st-degree felony
- Carjacking with a Deadly Weapon: 1st-degree felony with life in prison
If the offender is carrying a firearm or deadly weapon, Florida may enforce a mandatory minimum sentence. For example:
- 10-year mandatory minimum sentence: If the offender possessed a firearm but did not discharge it during the committing of the robbery.
- 20-year mandatory minimum sentence: If the firearm was discharged during the crime.
- 25-year mandatory minimum sentence: If the firearm was discharged, resulting in the injury or death of another.
Regardless of the severity of the robbery offense, those convicted will face felony penalties, excessive fines, and prison time. A robbery conviction can also result in the offender losing the right to vote and own a gun. When facing such serious criminal offenses as robbery, it’s critical to acquire an experienced Tampa robbery defense attorney like Andrew Buda.
How To Avoid a Robbery Conviction
Following your consultation with the Tampa robbery defense attorneys at Buda Law, our legal team will construct a strong and adequate defense strategy against your robbery charge. The most common defense strategies that your criminal defense attorney may use include:
- Afterthought: When the theft of property is an afterthought to the violent action. This could still be considered a theft crime, but not as serious as robbery. For example, if the offender initially got into a physical altercation with another person and then decided to take property or money from them, it could fall under this defense.
- Claim of Right: When the person reasonably believes they are entitled to the property, it would not be considered robbery. For example, if a necklace was stolen from you and you see someone else wearing one just like it, and you try to take it back, it would not be considered robbery. However, it would still be a crime.
- Duress: If the robbery was committed while under pressure, the element of intent is not present. For example, if someone forced you to rob a store by threatening to kill your family, you would not be guilty of committing robbery.
- Mere Presence: If you were in the presence of a robbery crime but did not help commit the crime, you cannot be convicted as an accomplice.
To secure a conviction for robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender was guilty of committing the offense. Using one of the above strategies or another not listed, your Tampa robbery attorney will work to refute those claims and prove your innocence.
As a former prosecuting attorney, Andrew Buda is familiar with the strategies used by the state attorney’s office to convict those charged with robbery and uses this knowledge to his advantage. When looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Tampa, you want Buda Law on your side.
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney at Buda Law Right Away
If you’ve been arrested on robbery charges, it’s important to take them seriously, as they can result in a felony conviction. Following your arrest, it’s important to contact Buda Law immediately so your criminal defense can begin as soon as you’re arrested. When you call Buda Law, your Tampa robbery defense attorney can guide you through the questioning process and help you avoid giving any potentially incriminating information.
To learn more about how criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda can help you fight against robbery accusations, schedule a free consultation by calling Buda Law at (813) 322-2832 today.