Robbery with a Firearm in Florida
If accused of Robbery with a Firearm in Florida, you need to know the:
- Definition of Robbery with a Firearm
- Penalties for Robbery with a Firearm
- Defenses to Robbery with a Firearm
Definition of Robbery with a Firearm
Under Florida Statute 812.13(1)-(2)(a), the crime of Robbery with a Firearm 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 firearm.
Importantly, it is not necessary that the firearm be used to effectuate the force, violence, assault, or threat; it is enough that the firearm was in the perpetrator's possession during the robbery.
Penalties for Robbery with a Firearm
The crime of Robbery with a Firearm is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 9 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of Robbery with a Firearm, a judge is required to impose a minimum sentence of either the 10/20/Life Firearm Enhancement or 48 months in prison absent grounds to impose a downward departure sentence and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to life in prison.
- Up to life on probation.
- Up to $15,000 in fines.
10/20/Life Firearm Enhancement
Under Florida Statute 775.087(2)(a)(1), a person convicted of actually possessing a firearm during the commission of a Robbery with a Firearm, as opposed to being an unarmed accomplice, is subject to being sentenced under Florida's 10/20/Life statute.
Under the 10/20/Life statute, and depending on how the firearm was used, a person convicted of Robbery with a Firearm could receive one of the following minimum-mandatory prison sentences:
- A minimum 10 year prison term if in possession of a firearm;
- A minimum 20 year prison term if the firearm was discharged; and
- A minimum 25 year prison term if someone is injured or killed by the firearm.
Defenses to Robbery with a Firearm
It is a defense to the crime of Robbery with a Firearm 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 pistol whipped and knocked out, it would not be Robbery with a Firearm 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. 
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
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