Violent Crimes: Florida Robbery & Carjacking Laws
Facing Charges? Contact a Miami Criminal Lawyer!
Robbery and carjacking are two of the most serious charges a person can face in Florida. Most robbery and carjacking penalties are first-degree felonies and are punishable by up to life in prison. The recent "10/20/Life" laws passed by the legislature added additional, severe minimum/mandatory sentences for offenses involving firearms.
If a defendant is charged with a robbery or carjacking offense, he or she must obtain legal representation before it is too late. The Miami criminal defense firm of Donet, McMillan & Trontz, P.A. (DMT) has represented defendants charges with these offenses in both juvenile and adult circuit courts. With the stakes so high, only the most experienced criminal defense lawyers in Miami can provide the defense you need.
Overview of Robbery in Florida
In order to prove robbery beyond reasonable doubt, the prosecution must prove that:
Robbery by Sudden Snatching
- The defendant took certain money or property from a victim;
- The defendant used force, violence or fear to effectuate the taking;
- The property taken had some intrinsic value; and
- The defendant took the property with the specific intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to possess or benefit from the property.
The least serious of the robbery offenses is robbery by sudden snatching. This offense involves the defendant taking the property of another, but only in the course of the taking does the victim realize the robbery has occurred. Additionally, the offender could not have used any force beyond that which was necessary to take the money or property.
Robbery by sudden snatching is a third degree felony punishable up to five years in prison. However, if the defendant carried a firearm or deadly weapon, but did not use the weapon in the course of the taking, the crime becomes a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison.
Strong Arm Robbery
Strong arm robbery is second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison. This offense is similar to robbery by sudden snatching, but it requires the use of force, violence, or fear to effectuate the taking of the property. While strong arm robbery and robbery by sudden snatching are difficult to distinguish, the victim's vantage point is what determines which crime will be charged.
Armed Robbery / Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
Of course, the most serious robbery offense is armed robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm.
- If a defendant uses a firearm during the commission of an armed robbery, they face a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence.
- If a shot is fired, a 20 year minimum mandatory sentence can be sought by the prosecution
- If someone is actually injured by a shot during the commission of the armed robbery, the judge has to sentence a defendant to between 25 years to life in prison.
Carjacking contains many of the same elements as robbery. The main difference is that the property taken by the defendant must be a motor vehicle. Again, to prove carjacking, the prosecution must prove that the defendant used force, violence or fear during the course of the taking and that the defendant intended on permanently or temporarily depriving the victim of his or her right to the interest in the motor vehicle.
Like armed robbery, armed carjacking with a firearm or deadly weapon carries a potential life sentence. Additionally, armed carjacking with a firearm carries the same 10/20/Life minimum mandatory penalties as armed robbery.
Sentencing for Youthful Offenders
While the penalties for armed robbery and carjacking are very serious, offenders under the age of 21 are eligible to be sentenced as "youthful offenders." If a judge decides to sentence a defendant as a youthful offender, the sentence is capped at six years in a youth offender facility.
Hire a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney from DMT
While the aforementioned offenses are among the most serious in the Florida Penal Code, there are defenses such a misidentification and a lack of physical evidence. As long as a defendant does not provide a statement or confession to law enforcement authorities, the criminal lawyers at DMT can provide a compelling defense to any jury in Miami and the South Florida area.
If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with any robbery or carjacking offense, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT.
An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24/7 to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case and you will not be disappointed. You can call our office at (305) 396-3982 or reach us by completing our case evaluation form