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Violent crime lawyer in Tallahassee

Robbery is basically a theft committed during the commission of an assault, according to Florida Statute Section 812.13. For this reason, robbery is considered both a property crime and a violent crime. Many people refer to this crime as a “hold up” or “stick up.” The Florida legislature has created several different distinctions for robbery offenses, including armed robbery, robbery by sudden snatching, carjacking and home-invasion robbery.

Tallahassee Robbery Defense Attorney

Charges for a violent crime can be intimidating. It is important you understand your rights and know what you are facing. The charges are serious, and the penalties can affect your future. Never talk to any law enforcement officer until you have retained an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law represent clients throughout Tallahassee for a variety of robbery-related offenses such as larceny, aggravated assault and kidnapping. They are experienced in fighting for the rights of those accused of violent crimes and property crimes. The can help you get the best possible results in your case.

Pumphrey Law is based in Tallahassee, but the attorneys represent clients throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County. Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.

Information on Robbery Charges in North Florida

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Elements in Florida’s Robbery Statute

In a robbery case, the prosecutor with the state Attorney’s Office must prove the following elements of the crime beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant took money or other property which may be the subject of larceny
  • The taking was from a person or custody of another
  • The taking was with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property
  • During the course of the taking there was the use of force, violence, assault or putting in fear

The term “in the course of committing the robbery” also includes an act committed during an attempted robbery or while in flight after the attempt or commission of a robbery. An act could be considered in the course of the robbery if it happened before or after the property was stolen or was attempted to be stolen.

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Penalties for Robbery Under Florida Law

The punishments for robbery depend on whether the person accused carried or used a non-deadly weapon during the commission of the robbery and whether the weapon qualified as either a firearm or other deadly weapon.

In most cases, robbery is charged as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years incarceration. However, if the accused carried a weapon in the course of the robbery, the charge would be an aggravated robbery, which is a first-degree felony.

If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by life in prison.

Robbery by Sudden Snatching

Florida Statute Section 812.131 created the criminal offense of robbery by sudden snatching. This crime is one of the most common forms of robbery committed by juveniles in the state of Florida. The crime is often called “purse snatching.”

It must be proven the defendant took money or other property from the victim with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim or the owner of the money or other property. It also must be proven the victim knew it was being stolen while it was happening.

Under the statutory scheme for sudden snatching robbery, it is not necessary for the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office to show:

  • The defendant used any amount of force beyond that effort necessary to obtain possession of the money or other property
  • The victim offered any resistance to the taking
  • The victim was injured

Sudden snatching robbery typically is charged as a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If, in the course of committing a robbery by sudden snatching, the defendant used or carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, the robbery by sudden snatching is a felony of the second degree.

Home-Invasion Robbery

Home-invasion robbery is different from a burglary. Under Florida Statute Section 812.135, home-invasion robbery is defined as any robbery that occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and commits a robbery of the occupants therein.

If in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery the person carries no firearm, deadly weapon or other weapons, the person commits a felony of the second degree. Certain enhanced punishments apply if the person carried a weapon during the robbery.

If in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery the person carries a firearm or other deadly weapon, the person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by life in prison.


Florida Statute Section 812.133 defines carjacking as the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another. However, this is considered different from grand theft because of the level of violence involved.

To be considered carjacking, the taking must have occurred with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle. Also, the alleged offender had to use force, violence, assault or put fear in the victim while taking the car.

Carjacking is a felony of the first degree. If in the course of committing the carjacking the defendant carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, the carjacking is classified as a felony in the first degree, punishable by life in prison.

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Additional Information on Robbery

  • Robbery, Burglary and Theft Statistics
    Learn more about recent statistics on robbery cases in Florida and the Tallahassee area from the National Center for Victims of Crimes, the leading resource and advocacy organization helping the victims of crime. The article shows that since 2006, the number of robbery cases has decreased dramatically for all types of property crimes including larceny, theft and burglaries. The article includes crime statistics displayed on graphs and charts.
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics on Robbery
    Read articles from the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C., which compiled statistics in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice and state and local law enforcement agencies. The statistics estimate that property crimes, both reported and not reported to police, total more than $16 billion a year. The studies classify robbery offenses by whether the taking was completed, whether injury occurred and whether a weapon was used during the crime.

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Finding a Leon County Lawyer for Robbery Charges

The criminal defense attorneys at the Pumphrey Law are experienced in helping clients fight a variety of robbery charges, including armed robbery, carjacking, robbery by sudden snatching and home-invasion robbery. Call Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 to find out how we fight these serious criminal charges throughout Leon County and the surrounding areas in North Florida.

Article last updated October 22, 2016.