Home Invasion Robbery Criminal Charges, Laws and Defenses in Florida
Generally speaking, society believes that an individual’s home is sacrosanct, as it is considered a place of privacy, peace, safety, and privacy. This is why under Florida law, the invasion of another’s home is taken very seriously.
Home invasion robbery is one of the most serious crimes in Florida, which is why it is considered a first-degree felony, which carries with it severe penalties. Under Florida law, it does not matter if a firearm or some other deadly weapon was used during the commission of the crime. Specifically, home invasion robbery committed without a weapon or firearm constitutes a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Conversely, if a weapon or firearm was used, an accused offender is looking at a potential life imprisonment sentence.
At Musca Law, our Florida Home Invasion Robbery Defense Lawyers fully understand that Florida is one of the few states in the U.S. that accepts home invasion robbery as its own specific offense (meaning, not just a form of armed burglary and robbery). If you have been accused of committing the crime of home invasion robbery, contact Musca Law now at (888) 484-5057. Musca Law’s skilled team of legal professions are dedicated to providing our clients with the strongest defense strategy possible. Don’t wait, as your life, liberty, and freedom are at stake.
Determining the commonality of the offense of home invasion robbery is tricky since the FBI does not consider home invasion crimes to be a separate offense. Notwithstanding, Florida law enforcement has recently noted that there has been an increase in home invasion robbery in addition to the robbery of restaurants, banks, and convenience stores, to name a few. These establishments have measures with technological advances that help to increase their security. Unfortunately, private homes typically do not have the same level of protection, and therefore, are more vulnerable to home invasion robbery.
While Florida considers home invasion robbery to be a separate offense, the state does not tally it in its annual Uniform Crime Reports. However, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in 2018, there were 16,862 robbery offenses reported. Firearms were used in 6,683 during the commission of a robbery. Furthermore, there were a total of 5,773 arrests for robbery in 2018. Of these arrests, 1,090 were juveniles and 4,683 were adults.
To help you better understand how a skilled Florida Criminal Defense Attorney can make a difference for you, we first must discuss the various elements of home invasion under Florida law.
What is "Home Invasion Robbery?"
Under Florida Statutes Section 812.135(1), “home invasion robbery” is defined as “any robbery that occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery, and does commit a robbery of the occupants therein.” A dwelling under Florida law includes, without limitation, a house, apartment, condo, and a hotel/motel.
While there are a number of different home invasion crimes involving such offenses as sexual assault, homicide, kidnapping, and assault, Florida Statutes Section 812.135 is specific to the action of entering a dwelling unlawfully with the intention of committing a robbery therein.
Most home invasion robberies rarely involve just one individual, though it is not always the case. In many instances, offenders who commit home invasion robbery engage in a sudden, violent burst of entry into the dwelling, leaving its occupants powerless and afraid. It is important to note that home invasion robberies almost always involves a firearm or weapon in order to exercise control over those residing in the dwelling.
Typical victims of home invasion robberies include those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly, those that live alone, and others who appear to have a significant amount of money and/or valuables such as expensive cars and jewelry.
There is also a greater risk of home invasion robbery for those who cultivate, manufacture, or distribute illegal drugs, given that reporting such a crime would be high risk to the alleged victim.
What are the Penalties for Home Invasion Robbery in the State of Florida?
Under Florida Statutes Section 812.135, home invasion robbery constitutes a first-degree felony, and it is also considered a Level 8 crime pursuant to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. Keep in mind that home invasion robbery is a non-bondable crime, meaning that the alleged offender will be required to remain in jail until such time that the state files charges against him or her. However, a skilled Florida Criminal Defense Attorney may request that the court hold what is known as an Arthur Hearing in order to ask the judge to grant bond for the accused.
If the accused is convicted of home invasion robbery, he or she will face a mandatory minimum of 34.5 months in jail. However, it is possible, although not common, for a judge to allow for a lesser sentence should there be mitigating circumstances warranting such a downward departure. Most often, judges in these types of cases impose the harshest sentence possible.
If no weapons or firearms were used during the commission of home invasion robbery, the maximum penalty is a 30-year prison sentence, 30 years of probation, and a maximum $10,000 monetary fine. If a weapon or firearm was used while the crime was being committed, it involves a mandatory minimum sentence of 66 months in jail. The maximum penalty for using a weapon or firearm is life imprisonment.
What are Some Defenses to Home Invasion Robbery?
The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is guilty of home invasion robbery. Specifically, they must establish that the defendant entered the dwelling of the victim, intended to commit a robbery therein upon entry, and ultimately committed a robbery while inside the dwelling.
Although the burden of proof is high in home invasion robbery cases, the prosecution often succeeds in obtaining a conviction because they use witness statements, forensics, and circumstantial evidence to prove their case. Notwithstanding, there are a number of different defenses that can be raised to attack the prosecution’s case. These include false accusation, insufficient evidence, and misidentification. If you have been charged with home invasion, you must contact an experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney today to help safeguard you legal rights and to develop the strongest defense strategy on your behalf.
Contact the Florida Home Invasion Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today to Safeguard Your Legal Rights
Being convicted of home invasion robbery has potentially permanent and devastating consequences for a person in Florida. If you are being charged with home invasion robbery or any other theft crime in Florida, you must act quickly to speak with a skilled Florida Home Invasion Defense Lawyer.
At Musca Law, our award-winning Florida Criminal Defense Law Firm has successfully helped our clients fight to safeguard their legal rights and to develop the strongest defense strategy possible.
To find out how Musca Law may be able to help you or a loved one facing criminal charges, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057. We are available 24/7 to provide you with the guidance and legal advice you need to move forward.