Cruise Ships and Robbery

Are you contemplating a cruise ship vacation? If so, please be wise and keep your valuables at home (if possible). Theft crimes on cruise ships are not uncommon. Not only do these theft crimes take place at United States ports and at sea, theft crimes also take place while ported on foreign lands. For instance, just last month, in March 2016, while making a stop in Belize, six cruise ship passengers and one tour guide were robbed at gunpoint. The robbery occurred while the passengers enjoyed an excursion at the Altun Ha Maya ruins site. Local police detained a few people in the area as suspects.

If you were a victim of a theft crime while abroad, it is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney for your case. Contact the Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA we provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.

The Basics of Robbery

Prior to delving into the basics of robbery, please be advised that, on your cruise ship ticket, there are important clauses; one being a choice of law clause. In other words, your cruise ship ticket may dictate which state’s law applies to your case (such as your theft case). Your ticket will also state how long you have to file certain actions before you are barred from doing so. Please read your cruise ship ticket, even the small print, very carefully.

If, for instance, you are bound to file your theft case in Florida, the following rules apply. Per Florida Statutes Sections 812.13-812.135, robbery is considered a property crime where the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements. First, the prosecutor must show that Defendant took property, or money, without the owner’s or possessor’s consent.  For robbery, Defendant must have actually taken the property, or money, from victim’s person or immediate vicinity, or from a separate place within victim’s control.

Second, the prosecutor must show that Defendant obtained the property, or money, from the victim by using intimidation, threat, or physical force to create reasonable fear in the victim.  Third, the prosecutor must show that the property taken has at least some value. It does not matter if the dollar amount is very low, it is still robbery if the prosecutor can establish these elements. Fourth, the prosecutor must establish that Defendant had the specific intent to temporarily or permanently take control of the property and deprive the owner/possessor of it.    

Normally, the punishment for a robbery depends on whether Defendant used or had a deadly weapon, such as a knife or gun, at the time of the robbery. A robbery without such a weapon, in Florida, is normally punished as a second-degree felony with a maximum prison term of up to 15 years. Yet, if Defendant used or had a weapon at the time of the robbery, Florida typically punishes these as a first-degree felony with a possible life imprisonment term.

Hire an Attorney for Your Case

As mentioned above, theft times, including robbery can happen on cruise ships. Theft crimes, in general, are unfortunately quite common on cruises. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime on a cruise ship, contact the Maritime lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz PA. Our law office specializes representing crime victims at sea. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA all of our lawyers licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. We provide aggressive quality legal representation. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. Se Habla Espanol.

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