Robbery, Armed Robbery, and Robbery of a Dwelling
Being charged with Robbery in South Florida is a serious criminal offense. If it is determined that a deadly weapon may have been used, the penalties are more severe. State Attorneys in Broward County, Miami Dade County, and other parts of South Florida often use the robbery statute to charge persons with robbery simply by determining that the criminal defendant may have used fear or intimidation in a situation that would otherwise equate to petit theft. Prosecutors, whether in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami Dade County, or any other part of South Florida, are the state’s criminal lawyers, and they make the decision of whether to file criminal charges. To prove the criminal offense of Robbery, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect took money or property from the person or custody of another, that force, violence, assault, or putting in fear was used in the course of the taking, that the property taken was of some value, and that the taking was with the criminal intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it. “In the course of the taking” means that the act occurred prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property and that the act and the taking of the property constitute continuous series of acts or events. In order for a taking of property to be robbery, it is not necessary that the person robbed be the actual owner of the property. It is sufficient if the victim has the custody of the property at the time of the criminal offense. The taking must be by the use of force or violence or by assault so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that the victim does not resist. Criminal law does not require that the victim of robbery resist to any particular extent or that the victim offer any actual physical resistance if the circumstances are such that the victim is placed in fear of death or great bodily harm if he or she does resist, but unless prevented by fear, there must be some resistance to make the taking one done by force or violence. It is also robbery if a person, with intent to take the property from a victim, administers any substance to another so that the victim becomes unconscious and then takes the property from the person or custody of the victim. In order for a taking by force, violence, or putting in fear to be robbery, it is not necessary that the taking be from the person of the victim. It is sufficient if the property taken is under the actual control of the victim so that it cannot be taken without the use of force, violence, or intimidation directed against the victim. The punishment provided by law for the criminal offense of robbery is greater if, “in the course of committing the robbery,” the criminal suspect carried some kind of weapon. An act is “in the course of committing the robbery” if it occurs in an attempt to commit robbery or in flight after the attempt or commission. Therefore, if you find the defendant guilty of robbery, you must then consider whether the State has further proved those aggravating circumstances and reflect this in your verdict. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried a firearm in the course of committing the robbery, the jury should find him or her guilty of robbery with a firearm. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried a weapon in the course of committing the robbery and that the weapon was a deadly weapon, the jury should find him or her guilty of robbery with a deadly weapon. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried a weapon that was not a firearm or deadly weapon in the course of committing the robbery, the jury should find him or her guilty of robbery with a weapon. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried no firearm or weapon in the course of committing the robbery, but did commit the robbery, the jury should find him or her guilty only of robbery. A “firearm” is legally defined as any weapon, including a starter gun, which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, any destructive device, or any machine gun. The term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a criminal offense. A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. A “weapon” is legally defined to mean any object that could be used to cause death or inflict serious bodily harm.
Having a criminal defense lawyer speak to the State Attorney before he or she makes the filing decision can be beneficial. Your criminal defense attorney has a chance to convince the prosecuting attorney to decline to prosecute you. Another option the prosecutor may choose after speaking to your criminal defense lawyer is to proceed with a lesser charge. Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett of Hassett and Associates, P.A. is a criminal defense lawyer who possesses the skill and expertise to defend a person charged with the criminal offense of robbery. He is an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney, as well as a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, and he has represented clients in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County since 1991. Call Hassett and Associates, P.A. 24 hours per day seven days per week for an immediate free consultation with a criminal defense attorney regarding your rights in a criminal law proceeding.
The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.
If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.