Home Invasion Robbery
A home invasion robbery often involves a violent entry by one or more people intended to create chaos so that the occupants can be immediately overwhelmed upon entry. The occupants in the home are often assaulted or threatened with weapons in order to gain their compliance.
The crime of home invasion robbery can be charged as a first-degree felony. If a firearm or deadly weapon was possessed during the commission of the crime, then the offense is punishable by life in prison.
The motive for a home invasion robbery is usually theft – stealing valuable items such as cash, drugs, or property. Retaliation against an occupant of the residence is also a common motive. In some cases, it is alleged the person entered the home with the intent to commit a sexual assault upon the occupant of the residence.
Many home invasion robberies occur when both the offender and the victim are involved in the illegal drug trade, especially when the motive behind the crime is to steal drugs or money used to facilitate drug transactions.
The most common defenses for these robbery charges include misidentification or an alibi. Other defenses involve a showing that the accused was invited to the location.
Attorney for Home Invasion Charges in Tampa, FL
Contact a criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, for more information about fighting the serious felony charge of Home Invasion Robbery.
The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm are experienced in representing clients in serious felony offenses prosecuted in Circuit Court in Hillsborough County, FL, including burglary, robbery, and home invasion charges.
With six criminal defense attorneys, we have offices in downtown Tampa for Hillsborough County. We also have offices in New Port Richey in Pasco County, and Clearwater in Pinellas County, Florida.
Contact us to discuss the charges pending against you and possible defenses. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 813-250-500.
Florida Statute 812.135 for Home Invasions
Home Invasion Robbery under Florida Statute Section 812.135 has three elements. At trial, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office must prove each and every one of these elements beyond all reasonable doubt, including:
- The defendant entered the dwelling of the victim;
- At the time the defendant entered the dwelling, the defendant intended to commit robbery;
- While inside the dwelling, the defendant did commit robbery.
In turn, under Florida Statute Section 812.13, the elements of robbery include:
- The defendant took the money or property described in the charging document from the person or custody of the alleged victim;
- Force, violence, assault, or putting in fear was used in the course of the taking;
- The property taken was of some value;
- The taking was with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the alleged victim of his or her right to the property or any benefit from it or to appropriate the property of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
Penalties for Committing a Home Invasion Robbery
The statutory maximum penalties depend on whether the person, in the course of committing the home invasion, carried a firearm, deadly weapon, any other kind of weapon, or did not carry any kind of weapon.
If, in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery, the person carries no firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, the person commits a felony of the first degree. A felony in the first degree is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This form of home invasion robbery is classified as a level 8 offense with a score sheet score that requires 34.5 months in prison unless grounds for a downward departure are found.
If the person carries a firearm or other deadly weapon (sometimes called “armed home invasion”), the person commits a felony of the first degree punishable by life in prison (PBL). This form of home invasion robbery involving a firearm or deadly weapon is a level 10 offense with a minimum score sheet score that requires 66 months in prison.
Florida’s 10/20/Life firearm enhancements sometimes apply in these cases. If the person who commits the home invasion is actually in possession of a firearm, the following minimum mandatory prison sentence could apply depending on how the firearm is used including:
- A minimum mandatory 10-year prison sentence if in possession of a firearm;
- A minimum mandatory 20-year prison sentence if the firearm was discharged; and
- A minimum mandatory 25-year prison term if anyone was injured or killed by a firearm.
Definitions in Florida’s Robbery Statutes
For the criminal offenses of robbery and home invasion robbery, the following definitions apply:
The term “dwelling” is defined to mean a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building [or conveyance] is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding it.
Lesser included offenses to Home Invasion Robbery under Florida Statute Section 812.135 can include:
- Robbery – 812.13(2)(c) and Robbery with a weapon – 812.13(2)(b)
- Burglary – 810.02(3)-(4)
- Battery – 784.03 and Aggravated Battery – 784.045
- Assault – 784.011 and Aggravated Assault – 784.021
- Trespass – 810.08
- Petit Theft – 812.014(3)(a) or 812.014(2)(e)
- Attempt – 777.04(1)
Double Jeopardy Issues in Home Invasion Robbery Cases
Burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery is usually subsumed by home-invasion robbery. For this reason, convictions of both offenses arising from a single criminal episode violate double jeopardy principles. Section 812.135(1), Florida Statutes (2003), provides that:
“Home-invasion robbery” means 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.”
Several court decisions hold that home-invasion robbery subsumes the crime of burglary with an assault or battery or the crime of burglary generally.
For instance, in Mendez v. State, 798 So.2d 749, 750 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001), the court held that “[t]he crime of burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery is subsumed by the offense of home invasion robbery” and violates double jeopardy principles.
In Bowers v. State, 679 So.2d 340, 341 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), the court held that burglary with an assault is subsumed by the crime of home-invasion robbery.
In Black v. State, 677 So.2d 22, 22 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996), the court reversed a burglary conviction because “[a]ll of the elements of burglary are included in the offense of home invasion robbery, of which appellant was also convicted.”
Other cases hold that the offense of burglary with an assault subsumes the crime of home-invasion robbery. See Braggs v. State, 789 So.2d 1151, 1152-53 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001); Barboza v. State, 786 So.2d 675, 675 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001); Smith v. State, 741 So.2d 579, 579 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999). In these cases, the courts vacated the conviction for home-invasion robbery in favor of the conviction for burglary with an assault.
Finding a Lawyer for Home-Invasion Robbery Charges
If you were charged with home-invasion robbery or another related theft crimes, contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case.
Home-invasion robbery occurs when the defendant enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery and commits a robbery of the occupants in the dwelling.
The six attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are experienced in representing clients charged with a wide range of theft crimes, including robbery, home invasion robbery, robbery by sudden snatching, and strong-arm robbery. We also represent clients charged with related offenses for burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery.
Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (813) 250-0500 today.
This article was last updated on Friday, August 18, 2023.