Orlando Criminal Lawyer Tackles Robbery Charges
Skilled defense when your freedom and future are on the line
Robbery is among the most serious felonies, involving both theft and the use or threat of force. A conviction can cost you your freedom, your reputation and your ability to earn a decent living. If you’ve been arrested and charged with robbery in the Orlando area, The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. will fight for your rights to a fair trial and seek a resolution that may spare you the most drastic penalties. For more than 25 years, Mr. Yates has managed defenses to state and federal felonies. He has the skill and determination you need when your freedom and your future are on the line.
Representing clients in diverse robbery cases
Florida Statutes §812.13 defines robbery as intentional theft of money or property accomplished through “the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” Any of those elements can occur prior to or during the taking of the property as well as subsequent to the taking, such as in the act of flight. Robbery can be committed in numerous ways, such as:
- With a firearm — This most serious level of robbery is a first degree felony with a penalty of up to life in prison. A defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years if in possession of a firearm (even if not loaded), 20 years if the firearm was discharged and 25 years if the firearm injures or kills someone. An unarmed accomplice is still charged with robbery with a firearm but does not face the automatic enhancement.
- With a deadly weapon — Similar to robbery with a firearm, committing a theft while armed with a weapon that is “likely to produce death or great bodily harm” is a first degree felony. It carries a minimum sentence of 34.5 months but a court may order as much as 30 years in prison.
- By sudden snatching — Grabbing a portable item, such as a purse, from a person is a third degree felony calling for up to five years in prison.
- By home invasion — Entering a home and stealing property inside is a first degree felony with a minimum sentence of 34.5 months and a maximum prison term of 30 years. This offense is subject to sentencing enhancements if weapons are involved.
- By strong-arming — If a perpetrator is not armed while committing a robbery, the offense is a second degree felony carrying a term of up to 15 years in prison.
- By carjacking — Where force or fear is used against the possessor of the vehicle to accomplish a taking, the offense is a first degree felony carrying a minimum prison sentence of 21 months and a maximum of 30 years in prison, subject to weapons and firearm enhancements.
Certain robberies can be charged as federal crimes. Because of the federal reserve system, bank robbery has been a federal crime since 1934.
Defenses against a robbery charge in Florida
The most common defense to robbery is an alibi, where the accused asserts he or she was elsewhere at the time of the crime. A related defense is mistaken identity, the failure of the victim to recognize the perpetrator. Additional defenses are:
- After thought — If you got into a physical altercation with another person and afterwards decided to take some money or property in his possession, it is possibly a theft crime but not robbery.
- Claim of right — If you had a reasonable belief that you were entitled to the property, it would not be robbery to take it back. For example, if you saw someone steal your bicycle and you later saw someone riding a bike that looked like yours, that would be enough to defeat the taking element of the crime, since in your mind the property belonged to you. You could still be charged with assault and battery, though.
- Duress — You cannot be guilty of a robbery you committed against your will, since the necessary element of intent is lacking. If someone said, “Rob this store or I will shoot your daughter,” and you had good reason to believe the threat was real, you would not be guilty of robbery.
Criminal defenses depend on the specific facts of the case. Mr. Yates thoroughly investigates the circumstances of your arrest to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and to determine what defenses are available to you.
Contact a skilled Orlando criminal defense attorney for a consultation
With the severe penalties it carries, a robbery conviction can destroy your life. You should only trust your case to an experienced criminal defense attorney with a record of success. Call The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.