Experienced West Palm Beach Robbery Attorney
According to Fla. Stat. §812.13, robbery, also known as strong-arm robbery, is the unlawful act of taking of money or property from another person through force, fear, violence, or threat of violence to deprive them of such property either permanently or temporarily.
In West Palm Beach, robbery is a severe criminal offense classified as a felony. As a violent crime, the lowest charge for robbery is a third-degree felony. However, other aggravating circumstances can escalate the charges and penalties. For instance, an armed robbery with a deadly weapon is more severe than a robbery without one. But even the lowest robbery charge carries a harsh sentence and hefty fines.
If you or your loved one is facing robbery charges or accusations, consider seeking legal help from the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney will immensely help your case. Without an experienced attorney, you’ll be alone against the entire justice system. Your attorney will explain your charges and the evidence against you, prepare you for the legal process, and defend you throughout.
How Do Robbery Cases Work in West Palm Beach
In criminal law, the prosecution bears the burden of proof. Therefore, in a robbery case, the prosecution’s evidence must establish the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:
The defendant took money or other property from another person without their consent. They need to have taken the possessions from:
The victim’s body
Their immediate vicinity
A separate place within the victim’s control
The defendant used force, threat, violence, assault, or instilled fear while taking the property. The act of threat or force can be before, during, or after the act so long as there is a continuous sequence of events.
The property in question needs to at least be of some value.
The offender intended to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of their property.
Different Types of Robbery
Florida law classifies robbery into different categories. Each type of robbery has to include the general elements of the crime in addition to the specific circumstances of the offense.
The different types of robbery offenses are described in Chapter 812 of Florida Statutes and are as follows:
Robbery or Strong-Hand Robbery (Fla. Stat. §812.13)
Robbery is the offense of taking someone else’s property or money by force or threat of force but without any weapon.
Robbery by Sudden Snatching (Fla. Stat. §812.131)
You commit robbery by snatching when you take money or property directly from the victim’s person under threat, force, or violence, and the victim is aware of the taking. The prosecution doesn’t have to show that the victim resisted the act or that force was applied.
Home Invasion Robbery (Fla. Stat. §812.135)
A home-invasion robbery is committed when one enters any building or property used as a dwelling place and steals money or other property. The victims don’t have to be present for a home-invasion robbery charge to stick.
Carjacking (Fla. Stat. §812.133)
Carjacking involves stealing someone’s car or motor vehicle using force, violence, or intimidation. The penalties become more severe if the act involves a firearm, a deadly weapon, or another weapon.
The Legal Process of West Palm Beach Robbery Cases
If you are accused of robbery in West Palm Beach, it may be helpful to understand the process you go through. The legal process of a robbery in Florida starts immediately with the arrest but may be concluded at any stage, depending on the case.
Here’s how it usually goes:
Robbery suspects may be arrested at the crime scene or after several interviews with the police. It’s best to hire an attorney as soon as you learn of the accusations against you and not wait for an official arrest.
Although this is an ongoing process, the criminal investigation usually starts as soon as law enforcement learns about the crime. During this time, the police will gather evidence by interviewing people, analyzing the crime scene, and collecting information.
Having a robbery attorney with you during police questioning cannot be emphasized enough.
The case moves through several court proceedings, including the arraignment, pre-trial hearings, motions, and trial. If your attorney succeeds in challenging the prosecution’s case at any of these stages, your case may not have to go all the way to the trial.
A sentencing hearing takes place after the trial. If the defendant was found guilty and convicted, the judge will announce their sentence and penalties in this hearing.
Penalties For Robbery Cases
A robbery conviction comes with lengthy prison terms, fines, and restitution. However, the specific penalties for your robbery offense can vary depending on the specific charges and circumstances.
The potential penalties for robbery charges include:
- Strong-arm robbery is a second-degree felony. It carries a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum imprisonment of up to 15 years.
- Robbery by snatching is a third-degree felony. It carries a maximum fine of up to $5,000 and a maximum jail time of up to 5 years in prison.
- Home-invasion robbery is a first-degree felony. It carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if it involves a firearm or other deadly weapon, the maximum sentencing can be up to life imprisonment.
- Carjacking without a weapon is a 1st-degree felony. It carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalty may increase to life imprisonment if it involves a firearm or deadly weapon.
However, aggravating factors can influence the degree of the charges and their penalties. These include:
- The presence and use of a firearm or deadly weapon
- Causing bodily harm to a victim
- Having prior convictions for violent crimes
- The degree of violence during the offense
- Committing other crimes during the robbery, such as assault.
In addition to the above penalties, other consequences may include:
- Permanent criminal record
- Loss of the right to own a gun or vote
- Paying restitution and court fees
As all robbery charges are significantly dangerous, it’s crucial to seek the help of criminal defense attorneys with experience handling robbery cases.
Defenses Against Robbery Charges
Being charged with robbery in Palm Beach County does not automatically mean you will be found guilty. There are defenses that a skilled criminal defense lawyer can use to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Some of the potential defenses against robbery charges include:
One of the most common defenses against robbery charges is a false accusation. This happens when someone purposely accuses you of committing a crime, even though you are innocent. It could be an act of revenge, retaliation, or simply a mistaken identity.
Lack of Evidence
To convict someone of robbery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime. If insufficient evidence supports this high burden of proof, the charges may be dismissed.
Lack of Intent
Robbery is a specific intent crime, meaning that the accused must have intended to commit the act of taking someone else’s property by force or threat. If there is evidence that you did not have the intent to commit robbery, your charges may be reduced or dismissed.
For example, if you were under duress or forced to participate in the crime, this could be used as a defense against robbery charges. Additionally, this could be a valid defense if you believed the property was yours or had permission to take it.
If you have a strong alibi proving you were not at the crime scene, this can be used as a defense against robbery charges. For example, if you have evidence that you were at work or with friends during the robbery, this can cast doubt on your involvement.
How a Palm Beach Robbery Lawyer Can Help You
The possible outcomes in a robbery case vary depending on the nature of the charges, but your defense can also influence the outcome of your case. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A. can help you avoid these life-altering consequences.
We will work tirelessly to reduce or drop your charges or get you the long-awaited non-guilty verdict. Here’s how we do that:
- Use our extensive knowledge of the Florida Criminal Code to build a strong defense strategy
- Defend your rights during police questioning and throughout the legal process
- Analyze the evidence brought against you for weakness or inconsistency to use in your defense.
- Analyze police reports for any constitutional violations against you
- Negotiate a plea bargain with prosecutors for reduced charges or sentencing if it’s in your best interest
- If your case goes to trial, we advocate for you in court by presenting a compelling defense.
Seek Legal Help from the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A.
If you have been charged with robbery in West Palm Beach or anywhere in Palm Beach County, seeking legal help is crucial. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing and could ruin your future.
At the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A., we have experienced criminal defense lawyers who specialize in handling theft and robbery cases. We understand the complexities of robbery charges and will fight relentlessly to protect your rights and freedom.
Don’t let a single mistake or false accusation ruin your life. Contact an experienced robbery defense attorney at the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A. today for a free case evaluation and learn how we can help you fight your charges.