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," as defined under Florida law.
A home-invasion robbery is not the same as a burglary. A burglary is a crime against property. A robbery is always a crime committed directly against a person.
Home-invasion robberies are very risky crimes, considering the fact that so many Florida residents keep guns inside of their homes. However, over the past few years, law enforcement reports have shown a correlation between home-invasion robberies and marijuana grow houses.
Check out this report from WSVN showing how marijuana grow houses in Miami-Dade and Broward are often targets of home-invasion robberies.
Home-invasion robbery may be treated more seriously than an ordinary street robbery because the invasion of one's home is considered to be a violation of one's sense of personal security. For this reason, experienced prosecutors are always assigned to handle these types of cases.
If in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery the accused carries a firearm or other deadly weapon, the person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by life in prison. Florida's 10-20-Life law applies to this crime in that the mere possession of a firearm by the accused during the commission of a home-invasion robbery will warrant a 10-year mandatory minimum state prison sentence.
As well, home-invasion robbery with a firearm is a non-bondable offense. The accused will remain in jail without a bond pending the State's filing of charges. If the State files charges in a timely fashion, a Miami-Dade County criminal defense lawyer can request an Arthur Hearing whereby the judge will decide whether to set a bond.
If in the course of committing the home-invasion robbery the person carries a weapon, the person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
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, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Even without a firearm, home-invasion robbery is almost always a non-bondable offense because the State Attorney can still charge the crime of burglary with an assault or battery, which is punishable by life. If the offense is punishable by life, Florida law mandates it a non-bondable offense.
If the accused carries a knife, baseball bat, or other non-firearm weapon, the State may charge armed burglary instead, which will still result in no bond being set as it is a felony punishable by a maximum of life in prison.
This may be confusing, jumping around between charges like that, but I want to illustrate that the State Attorney's Office has tremendous power when it comes to filing criminal charges. When a serious felony offense occurs, it is the State Attorney's goal to keep the accused person from getting out of jail.
As a former Miami-Dade prosecutor, I can give you a lot of insight into the thinking of a prosecutor. Not only do prosecutors almost always believe their officer and civilian witnesses, they believe that people accused of felony offenses are bad people and should be locked away from society.
As well, prosecutors also like to keep defendants in jail because they feel that defendants are more likely to accept plea offers that include jail or prison time if they are already in custody.
Home-invasion robbery is one of the most serious felony charges in the State of Florida. I am a criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged with robbery offenses in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
Call me to discuss your case.