The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics report that there were approximately 327,000 robberies in the United States in 2015. While the number of robberies has decreased overall in the last ten years, there was a small increase from 2014-2015 at 1.4 percent.
Moreover, the average dollar value of property stolen in 2015 was $1,190. West Palm Beach, in particular, has one of the lowest crime rates in the U.S. The chance of being a victim of a crime was one in 114. In West Palm Beach, robberies were the most prevalent violent crimes, with approximately three percent (out of every 1,000) of violent crimes being robberies.
Attorney for Robberies in Palm Beach County, FL
Although West Palm Beach is one of the safest cities in Florida, it, like many other places, is still subject to crime. Moreover, being wrongfully accused of a crime can be devastating. If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery or another theft crime in West Palm Beach or in the surrounding areas of Broward County or Miami-Dade County, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
Our attorneys are dedicated advocates and counselors who pride themselves on fighting for the rights of criminal defendants. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A. our attorneys are experienced and known for striving to provide the best possible defense.
Call (561) 557-8686 now to schedule a no obligations consultation with one of our attorneys.
Elements of Robbery under Florida Statute § 812.13
To convict an individual of Robbery in Florida, the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:
- that the defendant used force, assault, violence, or fear in the course of taking;
- that the defendant took the victim’s property from his or her person or his or her custody;
- that the defendant took property that had some value; and
- that the defendant took such property with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it; or
- that the defendant took such property with the intent to appropriate the property to his or own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
Penalties for Being Convicted of Robbery
The penalty charged for robbery in Florida will often depend on the circumstances surrounding the robbery, namely whether the individual committed the robbery with a deadly weapon.
If a jury finds that the defendant is guilty of robbery without a firearm or deadly weapon, then the robbery will be charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.
Enhanced Penalties for Robbery
Florida enhances the penalties for robbery when the defendant uses a dangerous weapon during the commission of the robbery.
Under Florida law, if an offender is charged with robbery and the jury finds that the offender also carried a firearm or other deadly weapon during the course of that robbery, then the penalty is a first-degree felony.
A weapon is considered a deadly or dangerous weapon if it is used or threatened to be used in a way that produces or is likely to produce great bodily harm or death.
Useful Definitions for Understanding the Robbery Statute
The Florida robbery statute outlines a number of definitions required to fully understand the Statute. Some useful definitions of Section 812.13 include:
- “taking” means that 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, but it is not necessary that the taking be from the person of the victim in order to be considered a taking by force, violence, or fear.
- “force” is defined as using force, assault, violence so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that he or she does not resist.
- “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 of taking the property was considered a continuous or series of acts or events.
Lesser Included Offenses of Robbery
If an offender could not be charged with robbery under Fla. Stat. § 812.13, then Florida law allows for a number of lesser-included offenses that can be charged in lieu of robbery. The lesser-included offenses of robbery include:
- Petit Theft – § 812.014(3) or 812.014(e)
- Assault – § 784.011
- Battery – § 784.015(6)
- Aggravated Assault – § 784.021
- Display of a Firearm – § 790.07(2)
- Attempt- 777.04(1)
- Trespass – § 810.08
- Aggravated Battery – § 784.045
Section 812.13 Robbery – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of robbery, including all of the listed penalties for being convicted of robbery and the enhanced penalties.
Fort Lauderdale Crime Statistics – Visit the City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department for the Ft. Lauderdale Crime Analysis Unit report, which depicts the Department’s crime and service statistics broken down by different types of crimes such as robbery, burglary, theft, etc…. The crimes rates are broken down by year and by the district.
Find an Attorney for Robbery in West Palm Beach, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery, having an experienced criminal defense attorney could be crucial to potentially have your charges dropped. Robbery, if done with a weapon is a potential life sentence in Florida.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have years of experience defending the rights of criminal defendants. We serve clients throughout West Palm Beach and in the surrounding areas of Broward County and Miami-Dade County, FL.
Call (561) 557-8686 to find out more about what the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can do for you.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.