Robbery with a Deadly Weapon in Florida
If accused of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon in Florida, you need to know the:
- Definition of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
- Penalties for Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
- Defenses to Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
Definition of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
Under Florida Statute 812.13(1)-(2)(b), the crime of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon is committed when a person intentionally and unlawfully takes money or property from another person through the use of force, violence, assault, or threat while in possession of a deadly weapon.
A weapon is considered a "deadly weapon" if it is used, or threatened to be used, in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Importantly, it is not necessary that the deadly weapon be used to effectuate the force, violence, assault, or threat; it is enough that the deadly weapon was in the offender's possession.
Penalties for Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
The crime of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 8 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 34½ months in prison absent grounds to impose a downward departure sentence and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to thirty (30) years in prison.
- Up to thirty (30) years of probation.
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
Defenses to Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
It is a defense to the crime of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon if the taking of property occurred as an afterthought to the use of force or violence. (However, the taking may still constitute theft or Robbery by Sudden Snatching.) 
For example, if two people got into a fight, resulting in one of the two being knocked out with a beer bottle, it would not be Robbery with a Deadly Weapon to take the watch from the unconscious person's wrist, because the taking of the watch was an afterthought that occurred after the fight had concluded. (Although it would still constitute the lesser offense of Robbery by Sudden Snatching.)
Claim of Right Defense
Under Florida law, a forcible taking of property under a bona fide claim of right is not robbery where the taker has a good faith belief that he is the owner, or is entitled to immediate possession, of the property. 
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