Miami Robbery Defense Lawyer
Robbery is considered a violent crime in Florida and one that is aggressively prosecuted. A conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, fines, and probation as well as damage to your reputation that may interfere with opportunities for housing and employment. When your freedom and good name are hanging in the balance, it helps to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner.
Located in Miami, Valiente Law has extensive experience defending clients against robbery charges throughout South Florida. Our robbery defense lawyers know that anyone accused of a violent crime is innocent until (and only IF) the State can prove them guilty and know how to fight for your rights in court. When you become our client, you can rest assured we will work tirelessly to preserve your freedom.
What is a robbery in Florida?
Under Florida Law, robbery is defined as taking of money or other property from the custody of another person, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner of the money or property, and the taking involves the use of force, violence, assault or threat. The law also establishes the following different types of robbery:
- Robbery by Sudden Snatching — the taking of money or property from another person, and in the course of the taking, the alleged victim was, or became of aware, of the taking. Robbery by sudden snatching is considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, unless a deadly weapon is used during the commission of the crime, in which case the penalty is elevated to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- Robbery with a deadly weapon — involves the use of a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. A weapon is considered deadly if it is used in a manner to cause great bodily harm or death, however, the prosecution only needs to prove that the deadly weapon was in the defendant’s possession to gain a conviction. Robbery with a deadly weapon is a first-degree felony, and minimum sentencing guidelines under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code apply.
- Robbery with a Firearm — possessing a firearm during the commission of a robbery is a first-degree felony. This offense is punishable by a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 48 months or a maximum of life in prison — discharging a firearm will increase the penalty.
- Carjacking — the taking of a motor vehicle that involves the use of force, violence, assault or threat. Considered a first-degree felony if a firearm or deadly weapon was not used during the commission of the crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. If a deadly weapon or firearm was in the defendant’s possession or used during the crime, the penalty may be elevated to a maximum sentence of life in prison.
- Home Invasion Robbery — occurs when the defendant enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and does commit a robbery of its occupants. If the defendant was not in possession of a firearm or deadly weapon, the offense is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. If the defendant carried a deadly weapon or firearm, the penalty may be elevated to a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Potential Defenses Against Robbery Charges
In order to gain a conviction, prosecutors must be able to prove the following elements of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant took money or property from the victim without the consent of the owner
- The defendant used force, or the threat of force, to put the victim in fear of being harmed or killed
- The property taken had some value
- The defendant intended to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the property
Our attorneys know how to assert a number of defenses against robbery charges, such as:
- An Alibi — the defendant was not at the scene when the crime occurred
- Misidentification – the victim mistakenly picked the defendant from a lineup
- Claim of Right Defense — a forcible taking of property under a bona fide claim of right is not robbery where the defendant has a good faith belief that he is the owner the property and entitled to immediate possession
- Afterthought Defense — the taking of property occurred as an afterthought to the use of force or violence. As an example, if two people are involved in a fight, and one of the two is knocked out, taking that person’s wallet may not constitute robbery if the taking was an afterthought that occurred after the person was rendered unconscious. Other criminal charges may still apply, however, such as assault or robbery by sudden snatching.
Contact Our Miami Robbery Defense Lawyer
Because robbery is vigorously prosecuted in Florida, if you are arrested for this offense it is crucial to have aggressive legal representation. Our attorneys will work to understand the circumstances that led to your arrest and work tirelessly to build a successful defense. While our objective is to win an acquittal, we will offer you an honest assessment of the prosecution’s case and may seek to have the robbery charges against you reduced. When you become our client, you can rest assured that we will never stop fighting for your rights. Please contact our office today to set up a consultation.