In Orlando, committing a robbery while possessing a firearm is a first degree felony. Those facing such charges also risk receiving a prison sentence that could send them away for life—even if the firearm wasn’t used as part of the robbery in any way. If you are accused of committing this type of criminal offense, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced gun defense attorney immediately to begin planning your defense against prosecution.
Robbery with a firearm is defined under Florida Statute 812.13(1)-(2)(a) as an act where an individual uses violence, force, or assault (or threatens such action) to take money or property from another person. Actual use of the weapon in the robbery is not necessary for conviction so long as it was in the assailant’s possession.
Threatening to hurt someone if they don’t hand over a wallet can quickly escalate to robbery with a firearm if the police find a gun on your person when apprehended. It may never have been your intention to use the gun, and you may not have specifically stated you were going to shoot the victim with it, but that does not matter under Florida law.
Under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code, committing robbery with a firearm is a Level 9 offense. If you are convicted of this crime, the judge may impose any combination of the following penalties:
When a defendant is convicted of possessing a firearm while committing a robbery and isn’t just an unarmed accomplice, Florida Statute 775.087(2)(a)(1), also known as the 10/20/Life statute, will affect the sentence. When convicted of robbery with a firearm, the defendant will receive one of the below mandatory sentences:
Sentencing will also be affected by the number of firearms possessed or used in committing the crime.
While it may seem there is no room for defense for committing robbery with a firearm, a skilled Orlando criminal defense attorney who has experience in defending firearm charges will have several options.
Common defenses to the crime of robbery with a firearm are:
The Property Belonged to You
Florida law does not view taking back your own property as a crime. Even if some circumstances of force were used, if you have a solid belief of ownership, you are entitled to immediate possession.
You Didn’t Originally Intend to Take Property
Also called the Afterthought Defense, this is a situation where you did not initially intend to take anything from the victim. You did so after the violence or threat thereof had already occurred. You would still likely be guilty of theft, however.
This defense is one often used by those accused of robbery with a firearm who happened to be at the scene but were not part of the crime. Florida law does not allow your mere presence be sufficient evidence of guilt. Even if you were aware of the offense occurring or acted questionably afterward, this does not establish your participation in this crime according to law.
Essentially, if you and a friend are out one night, and he decides to pull a gun and rob a convenience store, you cannot be charged as an accomplice unless prosecution can prove you helped further the robbery with a firearm.
If you are facing charges of robbery with a firearm in Orlando, the potential consequences of a conviction could devastate your life. The complicated nature of these cases requires a thorough understanding of enhancement to criminal charges under Florida law and how it might apply to your case.
The criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and can help position you for a favorable court ruling. As former Florida prosecutors at the state and local level, we have extensive knowledge regarding firearms charges in the Florida and federal criminal justice systems.
Don’t jeopardize your defense by waiting until you have to go to court. Work with our legal team to start building your defense now so you can get the second chance you deserve. To arrange your free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us or contact us online 24/7.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys