Robbery / Carjacking
Robbery and carjacking offenses are some of the most serious charges a defendant faces in the state court system in Florida. Most robbery and carjacking penalties are first degree felonies punishable up to life in prison. The recent 10/20/Life laws promulgated by the legislature added very severe additional minimum/mandatory sentences for offenses involving firearms. If a defendant is charged with a robbery or carjacking offense, he or she must obtain legal representation before it is too late. The state prison system is full of inmates charged and convicted for armed robbery and armed carjacking. The Miami criminal defense firm of DMT has represented defendants charges with these serious offenses both in juvenile and adult circuit court. With the stakes so high, only the most experienced criminal defense lawyers in Miami can provide the defense needed to obtain a result that a client or his or her family wants and deserves.
In order to prove the crime of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution must prove that (1) the defendant took certain money or property from a victim, (2) the defendant used force, violence or fear to effectuate the taking, (3) the property taken had some intrinsic value and, (4) the defendant took the property with the specific intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to possess or benefit from the property. The least serious of the robbery offenses is robbery by sudden snatching. Robbery by sudden snatching involves the defendant taking the property of another, but only in the course of the taking does the victim realize the robbery has occurred. Additionally, the offender could not have used any force beyond that which was necessary to take the money or property. The offense of robbery by sudden snatching is a third degree felony punishable up to five years in prison. However, if the defendant merely carried a firearm or deadly weapon, and did not use the weapon in the course of the taking, the crime becomes a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison.
Strong arm robbery is second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison. The offense is similar to robbery by sudden snatching, however, it requires the use of force violence or fear to effectuate the taking of the property. While the crime of robbery by sudden snatching and strong arm robbery are difficult to distinguish, the crime charged will dependent on the victim’s vantage point to determine which crime will be charged. Of course the most serious robbery offense is armed robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm. While both offenses are punishable up to life in prison, a firearm can add significant minimum mandatory sentences to the potential penalties. If a defendant uses a firearm during the commission of an armed robbery, he faces a 10 year minimum mandatory sentence; if a shot is fired, a 20 year minimum mandatory sentence can be sought by the prosecution; and if someone is actually shot during the commission of the armed robbery, the judge has to sentence a defendant to between 25 years to life in prison.
The offense of carjacking contains many of the same elements of robbery. The main difference in the offenses is that the property taken by the defendant must be a motor vehicle. Again, to prove carjacking, the prosecution must prove that the defendant used force, violence or fear during the course of the taking and that the defendant intended on permanently or temporarily depriving the victim of his or her right to the interest in the motor vehicle. Like armed robbery, the offense of armed carjacking with a firearm or deadly weapon carries a potential life sentence. Additionally, the crimes of armed car jacking with a firearm carries the same 10/20/Life minimum mandatory penalties as armed robbery.
While the penalties for armed robbery and carjacking are very serious, offenders who commit the offense who are under the age of 21 are eligible to be sentenced as youthful offenders. If a judge decides to sentence a defendant as a youthful offender, the sentence is capped at six years in a youth offender facility. While the aforementioned offenses are among the most serious in the Florida Penal Code, there are defenses such a misidentification and a lack of physical evidence. As long as a defendant does not provide a statement or confession to law enforcement authorities the criminal lawyers at DMT can provide a compelling defense to any jury in Miami and the South Florida area.
If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with any robbery or carjacking offense, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case and you will not be disappointed. You can call our office at (305) 444-0030 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail.