Articles Posted in Robbery

As our Delray Beach and Deerfield Beach criminal defense lawyers know, one professional wakeboarder learned in Orlando this past week that wearing a shirt with your known sponsor’s logo on it while robbing a store probably isn’t a good idea if your goal is to get away with the crime.
Law enforcement agencies use all sorts of tools in hunting down individuals who break the law; some of the most useful resources at their disposal are tips they receive from the general public.

Because Michael Kyle Evans is somewhat well-known (at least among pro wakeboarding enthusiasts), tipsters were able to identify him by his sponsor-branded wakeboarding shirt.
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Our South Florida criminal defense lawyers know that your presence on the internet has a powerful impact on your reputation; what you write, post and who you “like” or “follow” can lead to judgments about who you are and what you do. Moreover, some of those judgments can be made by police officers, prosecutors, and judges, who can link you to crimes based on your internet activity.
Earlier this month, according to the Sun Sentinel, a shop on North Dixie Highway was broken into and robbed of $2,000 worth of e-cigarettes; when reviewing security tape footage of the robbery, the store owner was able to immediately identify the man in the video to police. The owner of Florida E-Cigs and Vapes knew he recognized the robber as someone who “follows” the store on Instagram, the popular photo-sharing smartphone application.
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A 39-year-old Riviera Beach man now faces charges of burglary with assault or battery, robbery by sudden snatching and aggravated battery on a person 65 or older in connection with an attack on a 79-year-old woman who’s neck was broken, The Palm Beach Post reports.

Florida law allows for enhanced penalties for certain circumstances, whether it be the location of a drug sale in Fort Lauderdale, age of a victim in a West Palm Beach battery or if a weapon is used in a crime.
Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers believe that because of these enhancements it’s even more important that defendants have sound legal representation. Without an advocate, a person won’t have the benefit of years of experience and knowledge about the law, past court cases and effective strategies to point out facts that can work in the defendant’s favor.

In this case, according to the news report, a 79-year-old woman told police that when she pulled into her garage around 4:15 p.m.. one weekday afternoon, she was hit with something she described as a “sledge hammer” between her shoulders. The woman was knocked to the ground unconscious and when she woke up, her wallet, cell phone, papers, credit cards and other goods were missing.

When the woman came-to, she went to a neighbor’s house and called 911. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was given surgery to fix a broken neck.

Police detectives told the newspaper that they later found the woman’s purse and phone in an alley trash can in Lake Worth. They say they were able to obtain video surveillance of the woman’s Mastercard being used at a gas station in Lake Worth as well.

Detectives say the video surveillance shows a man similar to the suspect trying to use the card. They said they found fingerprints on some of the items at the scene that matched some found in a fingerprint database matching the suspect.

What must be questioned is whether police have solid proof that the fingerprints are a match and that they can prove the man was at the scene. Without that, it’s possible the two met in some other way or the print match isn’t accurate.

Also, if police aren’t able to prove the man is connected to those stolen goods, it may be difficult to prove he stolen them or committed the assault. It’s rare that a person is attacked by a random stranger in a different city. So, if there are no witnesses who saw the attack, simply having grainy video that isn’t conclusive may not be enough for a conviction.

These are serious felony charges that can result in years or decades in prison. Prosecutors must have more proof than circumstantial evidence if they hope to lock down a conviction. And defendants must have solid legal representation in order to ensure that they get a fair trial and their rights are upheld.
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An 80-year-old woman was attacked after police say a suspect cut her cable line, causing her to go outside to check it, leading to a Fort Lauderdale home invasion robbery.

NBC News reports that police are still looking for the person who allegedly committed the crime December 30.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys recognize that this is a scary situation and one that police will be diligently trying to solve. At the same time, we would be skeptical of evidence police may have to find a suspect, especially given that the main witness is old and the crime happened at night.

Witness reliability has come up time and time again in courts across the country as police attempt to use shaky witnesses to convict people. Some courts, including the New Jersey Supreme Court, have created rules and allowed for hearings when witnesses may not be so certain of what they actually saw.

Eye witnesses to crimes sometimes have motivations to lie, often put pressure on themselves to tell police what they want in order to try to protect their community. Or they end up being told inaccurate facts through the grapevine before police talk to them, which distorts the truth.

Defendants require a fair trial and for the state to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt if it is to get a conviction. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen, but an experienced and aggressive Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer will be able to scrutinize all evidence that the state attempts to bring into play at trial.

According to NBC, around 8 p.m. that day, the woman walked outside the back door of her house to check the cable connection. There, she was met by a man, assaulted and taken back into her house, where the suspect went through the house. The woman ran away to her neighbor’s house, where she called police. She was taken to Broward General Medical Center and was later released after only suffering from facial abrasions.

The only additional information CBS News provided is that police believe the suspect was black. It’s unclear if the suspect was wearing a mask or any clothing to conceal his identity. It’s also unclear if the woman was able to provide any meaningful description or whether any physical evidence — such as DNA or fingerprints — were found in the house.

This will be a tough case for police to solve, given the circumstances and, from what it appears, lack of solid eye witnesses. Depending on the layout of the woman’s backyard and whether anyone else could have seen what happened or if any neighbors may have seen a getaway vehicle or anything else, detectives may not have much to work with.

Home invasion robbery cases in Fort Lauderdale come with a felony tag and serious potential penalties, so police must do their due diligence in investigating these cases. An arrest can be a life-changing experience and a conviction even more so, meaning detectives must have solid facts before moving forward against a defendant.
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The Miami Herald reports that three people including two juveniles were arrested on charges of beating and holding at gunpoint postal carriers who were delivering mail.

Charges of armed robbery in Fort Lauderdale refer to someone taking money or property from another person by force and when using a weapon, not necessarily a firearm. In order to prove the crime, the state must show that a weapon was used. How the weapon was used is an important distinction, however.
Under Florida law, armed robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon is a first-degree felony if the weapon was used during the crime. It can still be a first-degree felony if the defendant was simply carrying a weapon during the crime. The crime only becomes a second-degree felony of robbery if there was no firearm involved.

Witness identification can sometimes be shaky, so it’s important that a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer be able to dig in from the start to begin putting together a strong defense for the suspect. Not all charges are accurate and not all those who are accused are guilty. Witnesses make mistakes and so do police officers. It’s the job of an experienced lawyer to point out those mistakes.

In this case, The Herald reports, postal carriers were beaten or held at gunpoint and master keys to mailboxes throughout the area were stolen. In a few weeks, three letter carriers became victims of the crime and police began investigating.

A 19-year-old and a juvenile, whose name wasn’t released, were charged with theft and robbery with a weapon. Police say the cases are not related, however. In one, a female letter carrier was beaten but not severely injured while delivering mail. Within two weeks, a juvenile held up a letter carrier at gunpoint while she delivered mail.

Police are still seeking a suspect from another incident. Nationwide, the U.S. Postal Service averages 75 to 100 robberies in any given year, so three in a matter of two weeks in one area is rare, the newspaper reports.

In the case of a daytime theft or robbery in Fort Lauderdale, as mentioned above, witnesses sometimes get it wrong. They may be too far away to get a clear view, but they want to help, so they tell police some facts, but some inaccuracies may exist.

Sometimes people fear that getting involved in cases where violence is alleged can get them in trouble with the suspects, so they back off and leave out important details that can actually lead to an acquittal. In other cases, they report to police third-hand information that is not their own. It’s not until months into the case that this incorrect information comes out.

The criminal justice system in our country is great, but it does have its flaws. As Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers, we hope to reveal the truth in every criminal case in order to provide the best possible criminal defense for clients.
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Fort Lauderdale police and Broward County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man they alleged held up a convenience store, shot at officers and then barricaded himself in his home, WSVN reports.

Charges of armed robbery in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida are among the most serious in our criminal justice system.
In Florida, a conviction can lead to years or decades behind bars. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers have defended many clients charged with this crime and have helped many avoid the most serious allegations levied against them.

Police say the man opened fire on officers after exiting a 7-Eleven convenience store. Officers had arrived after receiving a call of shots fired in the area. After getting to the scene, officers allegedly spotted the man outside the store.

The 27-year-old allegedly had two handguns and had shot at two different officers — one police officer and one deputy. Driving away, he drove to a house in the Windward Lakes Condominiums, police said. He allegedly refused to come out once police surrounded the complex. SWAT team members were called in.

The standoff lasted several hours, the news report states, until officers gassed the man’s apartment, came in and arrested him. No injuries were reported. The man faces several charges, though the news report doesn’t list them all.

Charges of armed robbery are difficult because the allegation is so difficult. But offenses against law enforcement officers can be an uphill battle for defendants. Not only will the agency try to find as many charges as possible to file against the defendant, jurors tend to not be sympathetic in cases where the police officer is the alleged victim.

Jurors already tend to value the opinion of police above lay witnesses and defendants and labeling them as victims only makes things more difficult. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers must be called in to help a defendant in such a situation.

Jury selection, many lawyers argue, is the most important part of a trial. Get a jury that will favor police and the defendant has an uphill battle. Pick jurors who will consider all facts and follow the law as the judge says, and you have a fair trial, a guarantee of all defendants.

The police officer’s word carries much weight, but the evidence does as well. It may be possible in some cases to prove a situation of mistaken identity in similar situations. As the Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog recently reported, eye witness identification has come under fire in other states as witness testimony has been proven time and time again to be shaky at best. The state often tries to use less-than-credible sources to secure convictions.

Obviously, each case is different and a defense can only be established based on the available facts. With the stakes as high as they are, trust in an attorney who has years of experience and has the skills to ensure your rights are upheld and all the facts come out.
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In Boca Raton recently, a man was arrested after being accused of robbing a landscaper at gunpoint. Two other men are accused of participating in the heist.

According to police, the landscaper was working on a house’s yard when a gold sports utility vehicle pulled up next to his equipment. When he allegedly approached the SUV, a person pulled out a gun and pointed it at him while two others stole the man’s equipment and drove off. Police say the victim wrote down the SUV’s license plate and called police, who tracked the vehicle to one of the men.
Eyewitness testimony can be inherently faulty and unreliable, which is why an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer must be called in to scrutinize the witness and challenge what they said they saw at the scene. This form of evidence from the state is particularly frustrating when dealing with cases of shootings in Broward County. When a shooting takes place, it is rare that someone would get a clear view of the person firing shots because most people would be ducking and hiding as to not get hit.

And sometimes it’s secondhand knowledge that gets passed on to police as rumors circulate in the neighborhood, leading to a person making an identification for police based on someone else’s observations. This is dangerous, as a person’s liberty and freedom is at stake.

New Jersey court officials made a bold step recently, reports The New York Times, by making sweeping changes to the rules that govern how witness testimony should be considered, saying there is a “troubling lack of reliability in eyewitness identifications.”

The New Jersey changes include more scrutiny for eyewitnesses who are presented as possible witnesses in criminal cases. According to the newspaper, whenever a defendant presents evidence that a witness identification of a suspect was influenced, a hearing must be held to consider the lighting, the time that elapsed since the crime or whether the victim felt stress while being identified. This includes pressure from police to make an identification.

When disputed evidence is admitted into trial, the judge must tell jurors about the influences that could heighten the risk of misidentification. In the past, judges held hearings, but they weren’t nearly as specific. Judges will now be able to review a wide range of factors that could pin down how good of an identification the witness made, including the duration of the crime, whether the witness was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, how far away the suspect and witness were and other factors.

The New York Times suspects that while this change will only effect New Jersey cases for now, it could eventually pave the way for other states to take a similar approach. The decision was made after a review of cases and more than 2,000 studies on the topic. New Jersey’s high court has been a trailblazer in other criminal matters as well.

Let’s hope that Florida’s Supreme Court will look at the issue and themselves determine how unreliable witnesses are in criminal cases. There are many times when the police’s main witness is somewhat unsure of who he or she saw commit a crime, but officers nudge them in the direction they want them to go with suggestive words. Other times, they simply aren’t sure, but want to help police make an arrest.

Whatever the reason for a misidentification, it is costly and the wrong way to treat the criminal justice system. If a person is to be convicted of a crime, the state must have proof beyond a reasonable doubt, not a guess.
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A store clerk died after being shot during a robbery at a check cashing store on Sunrise Boulevard recently, The Miami Herald reports.

Robbery that leads to murder in Fort Lauderdale is typically charged as first-degree murder, which can lead to a possible penalty of up to life in prison or the death penalty. That’s why a defendant facing these types of charges must hire an experienced Broward County Criminal Defense Attorney.
According to the news report, Broward County Sheriff’s deputies received distress calls from inside the building saying there was a robbery. When a SWAT team arrived, shots were fired, police said. A clerk inside died from her injuries, while a suspect and a person found across the street, who may have been a bystander, were also injured.

A two-hour standoff situation insued. Officers thought they had a hostage situation and when paramedics attempted to treat a man on the ground outside the store, they noticed he was armed and waited for SWAT to extract him.

The other man, who hasn’t been identified as a bystander or suspect, was treated by paramedics. All were taken to Broward General Medical Center.

Eventually, SWAT team members broke through a window of the business and brought out the clerk. Traffic on the typically busy six-lane West Sunrise Boulevard was cut off during the standoff.

In Florida, a person can be charged with first-degree murder by police, but in order for the charge to go forward to trial, the State Attorney’s Office must seek a grand jury indictment, meaning a panel of people on the grand jury must agree that the charges rise to the level of first-degree murder. That’s because of the severity of the penalties against someone facing that charge.

First-degree murder charges in Florida mean a person can face life in prison or possibly death by lethal injection. It can be proven either by proving a premeditated plan of committing murder or if the defendant committed another felony –in this case, a possible armed robbery — while committing the murder.

Among the crimes that can lead to a first-degree murder charge: trafficking, arson, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, escape, aggravated child abuse, aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, aircraft piracy, unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated stalking, murder of another, resisting an officer with violence and a felony that is an act of terrorism.

As you can see, there are many potential reasons to be charged with first-degree murder if a person dies. But this doesn’t just apply to someone who was the intended target of violence.

In fact, there have been many cases of a co-defendant dying during some sort of planned robbery and the surviving co-defendant is charged with murder — even if the police, for instance, shoot and kill the suspect. In other cases, a person may have a heart attack during a house break-in and those responsible for the break-in can be charged with murder.

That’s why hiring an experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney should be the first step in defending a crime of this nature. Getting sound legal advice in a case like this is critical to ensuring a defendant’s rights are upheld from the very beginning.
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Police conducted a high-speed chase through Fort Lauderdale recently that ended with the arrest of a defendant on robbery charges, Fox News reports.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers have defended many people charged with robbery, which can be a tough charge for police and prosecutors to prove. But when suspects get into high-speed chases with law enforcement, it can lead to many additional charges, such as fleeing and eluding, traffic-related charges, such as running red lights and reckless driving and also charges that relate to the injury of an officer, if one is hurt. So, if you are facing charges of robbery in Fort Lauderdale, contact our firm today.
Fox News reports that the suspect was wanted for a robbery and was chased up and down State Road 7 near Northwest 16th Street. Police eventually apprehended the man after he crashed into a fence near Northwest 14th Place and 32nd Court. The man fled on foot, but was arrested by officers.

Being arrested for robbery in Florida can have a terrible effect on a person’s reputation, livelihood and well-being. It can lead to job loss as well as the strain of dealing with the criminal justice system.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that one robbery is committed every 20 minutes, making it one of the more frequent crimes our state experiences. There were 26,074 robberies in Florida, which is actually down from 16 percent from 30,881 that were committed in 2009.

But still, of the 26,000 robberies, 11,106 involved a weapon, which is a scary situation. But while can be terrifying for the victim, a suspect charged with robbery with a weapon faces serious prison time in Florida.

According to Florida Statutes 812.13, robbery with a firearm is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Even without a weapon, a robbery charge carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in prison as a second-degree felony.

Also in Florida, the use of a weapon can come into play when robbery is alleged. Under the 10-20-Life law in Florida, a person convicted of certain crimes involving a gun can face a minimum 10-year prison sentence. If a gun is discharged, even if by accident, the person could face a 20-year prison term and if someone is injured or killed, they can face 25 years to life.

And a defendant’s criminal history can be applied to the case, as well. If a convicted felon uses a gun in a robbery, they can face an additional three years for a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. And the law mandates that the prison terms be serve consecutively — one after the other — to any other prison sentence.

So, hiring the right attorney could be critical to a person’s future prospects of freedom. Our firm has years of experience as prosecutors, so we know how the state thinks and how local law enforcement gather evidence. We know the problems they can have in these types of cases and we can apply it to your case.
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West Palm Beach Police have charged a 22-year-old Boca Raton man with home invasion robbery after he allegedly stole the money he paid an exotic dancer in return for sex. The victim reportedly told the man she would have sex with him and his friend at her apartment for $600. After their liaison, the dancer told the men they had to leave, but they proceeded to steal the money they’d pay her for sex, plus an additional $300 in her wallet.

She ran after the men, and when they drove away, she jumped on the hood of their car. The dancer reportedly fell to the side of the car and told police the vehicle ran over her left ankle and foot. According to the report, she was transported to Columbia Hospital and treated for her injuries there.

The defendant was released from Palm Beach County Jail earlier this month after posting $20,000 bond.

Source: Man charged with stealing money he paid exotic dancer for sex, Palm Beach Post, December 16, 2010 Continue reading

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