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In 2015, there were approximately 21,000 robberies in the State of Florida. The number of robberies reported included robberies with and without the use of a firearm. Additionally, the Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD) conducted a five-year study comparison of the various crimes that took place in Miami from 2010 until 2014. The study shows that the numbers of robberies have fluctuated over the years, and ultimately decreased by 0.9% by the end of 2014.
The Miami-Dade Police Department has a Robbery Bureau that is comprised of four sections, which includes the Robbery Investigations Section (RIS), the Robbery Intervention Detail (RID), the Robbery Clearinghouse Section, and the Street Terror Offender Program (STOP). During 2012, for instance, the Robbery Unit of the Miami Police Department received 1,907 robbery cases. Detectives arrested 321 people charged with armed robbery and strong armed robbery.
Robbery is punished very harshly in Florida. A person accused of this violent crime may face anywhere from 15 years to life in prison.
Why You Need an Attorney for Robbery Charges
Robbery has such serious consequences in Florida that it is imperative that you have the best defense possible if you find yourself charged with robbery. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney can be the difference between life in prison or much less serious consequences. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove the case, then the best result is getting the charges dropped.
Call Miami robbery defense attorney E.J Hubbs for more information about how to fight robbery charges. At Hubbs Law Firm, we take cases in Miami-Dade County, in cities like Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, Dadeland, Kendall, The Crossings, and Palmetto Bay.
Call (305) 570-4802 now to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys about your legal rights and options.
Elements of Robbery
The state of Florida charges robbery under Section § 812.13.
To convict a person of robbery, the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
- That the defendant took the victim's property;
- The defendant, during the taking, used violence, force, assault, or fear;
- The property taken was of some value; and
- The taking was done with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or to appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of a person not entitled to it.
The robbery statute, under the Florida Criminal Jury Instructions, lists a few useful definitions to help the reader better understand the elements of the offense.
- The term assault is defined as an intentional and unlawful threat, by word or act, to do violence to the victim and the person making the threat has the ability to carry it out, and he or he creates a well-founded fear of violence in the victim's mind.
- Fear is defined as circumstances that would ordinarily induce fear in the mind of a reasonable person.
- Title means, in the context of robbery, that it is not necessary that the person robbed be the actual owner of the property. Custody is enough to be considered robbery.
- Taking means, in the context of robbery, that it is not necessary that the taking be from the person of the victim. It is enough if the property taken is under the actual control of the victim so that it cannot be taken without using force, violence, or intimidation.
- Force means that the taking must be by using violence or assault to overcome the resistance of the victim or by putting the victim in fear so that he or she does not resist.
- During the taking means that the act occurred prior to, contemporaneous with, or after the taking of the property and that, the act and the taking constitutes a continuous series of events.
Defenses to Robbery
In DeJesus v. State, 98 So. 3d 105, 108 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012), the Second District Court of Appeals of Florida stated that since the use of force during a taking is an element of robbery, a defendant may be entitled to a special jury instruction on taking property as an afterthought.
The afterthought defense is applicable when the taking of property occurred as an afterthought to the use of force or violence against the victim. While robbery is not applicable under these circumstances, a defendant may still be charged with theft.
Types of Robbery Offenses in Florida
The Florida Criminal Jury Instructions lists five different robbery offenses.
Robbery may be charged in the following ways, depending on the circumstances:
- Robbery by sudden snatching
- Resisting recovery of stolen property
Penalties for Robbery
The penalties for robbery may vary, depending on if the assailant used a firearm or deadly weapon during the robbery. If the defendant carried a firearm or other deadly weapon during the robbery, then the crime is charged as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison.
If the defendant carried a weapon, then the robbery is charged as a first-degree, punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines. If the defendant carried no firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, then the robbery is charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.
Call Hubbs Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Whether you or someone you know has been charged with home invasion, robbery by sudden snatching, or carjacking, you will need a criminal defense attorney who is well versed in defending clients charged with all kinds of robbery cases. Call a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and an accusation that you committed a violent crime.
- Robbery Statistics in Miami-Dade County – Visit the Miami-Dade Police Department official website for MDPD's five-year crime comparison and statistics for violent and nonviolent crime rates from 2010 until 2014. Also, find MDPD's news releases on the recent robberies in and around Miami-Dade County and more information about the Robbery Bureau, including the four sections the Bureau.
- Fla. Stat. § 812.13 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature, for the full statutory language of the robbery statute and for more information on the enhanced penalties for committing robbery with a firearm or deadly weapon.
- DeJesus v. State – Visit Google Scholar for the full Second District Court of Appeals opinion. Find the Court's holding in the special jury instruction on taking property as an afterthought. Also, learn more about the difference between robbery and theft.
Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs
As professional Miami criminal defense attorneys, we take every case personally give every client the deliberate care it deserves. Our clients become part of our family and we fight relentlessly for their rights. Read more about us to find out how we can help you.
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