Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lockley: Florida "Attempted Robbery" is "Crime of Violence"

In U.S. v. Lockley, No. 09-15728 (Feb. 11, 2011), the Court held that a prior conviction for “attempted robbery,” in violation of Fla. Stat. §§ 812.13(1) and 777.04(1) qualified as “crime of violence” for purposes of the career offender Guideline.

The Court noted that the career offender guideline expressly includes “robbery,” which refers to “generic” forms of robbery. The Court found that Florida’s “attempted robbery” offense is a generic form of robbery. The statute requires that a defendant take the money or property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of it, using force, violence, or threats of force. The Court found that the “intimidation” element of the statute was generic.

The Court noted that Florida’s attempt statute, which requires that a “substantial step” be taken toward commission of the offense, falls within the generic meaning of “attempt” in the Guidelines.

The Court further noted that “attempted robbery” would also qualify under the “residual clause” of the career offender Guideline. The Court noted that attempted robbery is similar in degree to the offenses enumerated in the residual clause. Robbery is purposeful, and it is a potentially aggressive and violent act. The Court noted the difference between “robbery” and Florida’s lesser offense of “robbery by sudden snatching.”