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Home Invasion Robbery

Home Invasion Robbery in Florida

A frightening scene depicted numerous times in film: A sudden violent entry into the home of a sleeping family. They are awoken by the sounds of shattering glass from their back door, and muffled shouting. There are 3 individuals in masks, holding weapons, and demanding the family sit in a tied-up circle while the intruders search for cash, jewelry, and other expensive possessions. This is an example of home invasion robbery.

A crime of home invasion robbery is extremely serious in Florida—depending on the surrounding circumstances of the alleged act, it could result in up to life in prison. While going through a home invasion is likely a terrifying experience, so is the reality of being convicted of the crime. There are mandatory minimum prison sentences a judge must impose for a conviction.

Any person accused of this crime should consider working with a defense attorney who can attempt to get the charges lessened or dismissed.

Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorneys

Have you or a loved one recently been arrested for a home invasion robbery? Consider hiring legal representation with the defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm. Our team has decades of combined experience representing those falsely accused of crimes. We provide free consultations where we go over the details of your circumstance. Contact our office by calling (850) 681-7777 or fill out an online form on our website.

What is Home Invasion Robbery?

A robbery is considered the unlawful taking of property from another person by threat or force. In Florida, a robbery is a crime that involves taking money or other property from another person with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner, and in the course of taking such property there is the use of force, violence, assault, or the placement of fear into the targeted victim(s). It’s important to note that the crime of robbery can occur anywhere.

Home invasion robbery differs in its location and presence of occupants. Under Florida Statute Section 812.135, home invasion robbery is defined as any robbery that occurs when the offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery of the occupants inside the dwelling.

Florida law defines a dwelling as any building or conveyance with a roof over it and that is designed to occupy persons who lodge there at night.

Provided by the Florida Bar Criminal Jury Instructions, the State must be able to prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person of home invasion robbery:

  1. The defendant entered the dwelling of a victim;
  2. At the time the defendant entered the dwelling, they intended to commit a robbery; and
  3. While inside the dwelling, the defendant did commit a robbery.

Example scenarios of a home invasion can include:

  • Two men enter an occupied house through the back window to steal jewelry and other items of value;
  • A person kicks down the front door of a house while a family is inside sleeping, with the intent to steal valuable belongings from inside; or
  • A group of people break the lock of an apartment to look for cash or valuable items, not realizing that the owner was inside the dwelling.

Home Invasion vs Burglary

Florida has several criminal offenses that are similar. While burglary and home invasion are often used interchangeably, it’s important to establish the differences between the two offenses.

Burglary is when a person enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance to commit an offense inside. Note that this does not just include robbery or theft. A person can face a charge of burglary for entering a home, trailer, or apartment even if they intent to commit another offense, such as a forcible felony.

On the other hand, home invasion robbery specifically occurs in a house, apartment, trailer, or other dwelling while the occupants are inside. This is why it’s phrased as “home invasion.” Additionally, Florida law specifies that home invasion is committed for the purpose of committing a robbery while inside the occupied dwelling.

Contact a Tallahassee criminal defense lawyer if you’ve recently been accused of home invasion robbery or burglary.

Penalties for Home Invasion Robbery

Codified under Florida Statute Section 812.135, a person accused of home invasion faces a first-degree felony. It’s important to address that any act of home invasion robbery is classified as a first-degree felony. However, there may be enhanced penalties in instances where the alleged offender had a weapon or firearm in their possession.

Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code ranks home invasion robbery as a Level 8 offense. Absent grounds for a downward departure, the judge must impose a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 34 ½ months for a conviction of home invasion robbery. A conviction of a first-degree felony can also carry:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine; and
  • Up to 30 years in prison.

Keep in mind that the penalties above are provided for a defendant who possessed no weapon, firearm, or deadly weapon in the commission of the alleged crime.

If a defendant is accused of committing home invasion robbery with a firearm or weapon, they can face a mandatory minimum sentence of 66 months in prison with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

These are extremely harsh penalties that can impact your future. If you are facing criminal prosecution for home invasion robbery, call Pumphrey Law Firm today for a free consultation to go over your case details.

Defenses to a Home Invasion Robbery Charge

Even if you’ve already been arrested and charged with home invasion robbery, it helps to know the legal options you have available to you. If you choose to work with a defense attorney with Pumphrey Law, we can assess your case and determine if any of the following defenses apply:

  • Lack of evidence – The State has the burden of proving the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A Tallahassee defense attorney can challenge the evidence and search for any holes in the state attorney’s case.
  • False accusation – In some cases, an individual may have been falsely accused of a crime. A defense attorney with Pumphrey Law can help get the charges against a person falsely accused dismissed.
  • False identification – When a home invasion robbery occurs, the homeowners may have only witnessed a video clip or quick view of a person, potentially in masks. In these cases, false identification is common. An attorney with Pumphrey Law can help prove that the defendant was not the person who committed the offense.
  • Alibi – If the defendant had a legitimate alibi proving that they were not at the crime scene at the time of the alleged offense, a defense attorney with Pumphrey Law Firm can help prove this in court.

There may be potential strategies to get the charges against you lessened to a lower offense or even dismissed completely. Contact a defense attorney with Pumphrey Law Firm today to receive a free consultation.

Contact a Home Invasion Robbery Defense Attorney

Getting accused of home invasion robbery is extremely serious. Not only can you face the steep penalties that can arise with a conviction, but you also face the stigma of being considered a convicted felon. This type of conviction can make it difficult to find and retain jobs where you are meant to be trusted. It can also complicate relationships with family and friends. This doesn’t have to be your future.

When faced with a criminal charge, it can help immensely to have a legal representative on your side. Working with a defense attorney can give insight into the legal world and how to fight against criminal prosecution. The Tallahassee, FL criminal defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm have spent years representing locals and visitors of the North Florida region in need of reliable defense. Our goal is to get you the best possible outcome. Contact our office at (850) 681-7777 or fill out an online form to schedule a free consultation.

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