Alleged Crime Spree Leads to Multiple Charges
An alleged multi-state crime spree recently came to an end as Florida law enforcement engaged in gunfire with a couple that the media calls a modern day version of Bonnie and Clyde. According to reports, the man and woman are accused of committing numerous crimes in Missouri, Alabama and Georgia. Florida officials also allege that they are responsible for robberies within this state.
The search for the couple concluded after a Florida resident called law enforcement with allegations that her family was held hostage by the couple, who also stole their car. Law enforcement reportedly located the car in the next county. After a reported exchange of gunfire, the male suspect was killed and the female was injured. She is now facing numerous charges within the state of Florida, including home invasion robbery, grand theft auto and false imprisonment.
Home Invasion Robbery
Under Florida law, a home invasion robbery occurs when an “offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery, and does commit a robbery of the occupants.” It is often confused with burglary, but it is a separate offense under Florida law. While burglars tend to avoid confrontation with the homeowners, home invaders often directly confront the homeowner in order to gain entry. For example:
- If John enters Mary’s while she is at work and steals her television, he could receive burglary charges.
- If John enters Mary’s house by ringing the doorbell and forcing his way passed Mary when she opens the door, he could face home invasion robbery charges.
This is a serious offense and the state classifies it as a first degree felony, even if the suspect carries no weapon. For this reason, it is extremely important to secure the services of a criminal defense lawyer. Home invasion robbery is seen as a particularly violent crime that can carry significant penalties upon conviction, including life imprisonment.
Grand Theft Auto
The Florida code contains no specific law entitled ‘grand theft auto.’ Instead, theft of a car is generally classified as a third degree felony charge of grand theft. This felony classification applies even when the value of the vehicle is at the petty theft amount. Under the statute, vehicles include:
- Semitrailers; and
- Truck and semitrailer combinations.
The maximum penalty for a conviction is five years in jail. Those convicted will also likely lose the privilege to drive for at least six months.
False imprisonment is the deprivation of an individual’s liberty by force or threat of force. It applies when an individual confines, abducts, imprisons, or restrains another person against their will, without lawful authority. There is no specific length of time that is required for the law to apply. In some cases, even a brief period of time was enough to secure a conviction. False imprisonment is generally classified as a third degree penalty, with a maximum of up to five years imprisonment.
If you are facing charges for any of these criminal offenses, your liberty is at stake and you need the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC at (305) 330-3905 for a free and confidential consultation in Miami.