Tampa Carjacking Lawyer – Florida Carjacking Defense Attorney
Carjacking Defense Attorney in Tampa, FL
Carjacking is one of the most serious crimes on the books in Florida, and police, prosecutors and the media treat these cases aggressively. Penalties for a carjacking conviction can includes substantial prison sentences, as long as life in some cases, so if you have been charged it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal counsel before making any decisions regarding your case.
If you or a loved one are facing carjacking charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa carjacking criminal defense lawyer, today.
Carjacking: Robbery Generally in Tampa, FL
Legally speaking, carjacking is a form of robbery. In Florida, robbery is defined as the intentional and unlawful taking of property or money from another person by force, violence, assault or fear. As a general matter, the simplest form of robbery, robbery without a weapon (also known as strong-arm robbery) is a second-degree felony and carries a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison. Armed robbery, on the other hand, is a first-degree felony. The maximum penalty is 30 years if the weapon is non-deadly and life in prison if the weapon is deadly.
Carjacking: Definition and Penalties in Tampa, FL
Carjacking is defined in Florida as stealing an automobile directly from another person using force, violence, assault or fear. This is a first-degree felony. Penalties vary depending on whether a weapon is used. Carjacking without a weapon carries a maximum penalty of 30 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 21 months under the state’s sentencing laws. Carjacking with a deadly weapon is punishable by a maximum term of life in prison. If the deadly weapon is not a firearm or explosive, the minimum sentence is four years. If it is a firearm or explosive, a special Florida statute imposes stiff mandatory sentences: 10 years minimum for any carjacking involving a firearm or explosive, 20 years for any carjacking during which a firearm or explosive goes off, and 25 years for any carjacking during which a firearm or explosive kills or seriously injures someone. It is important to note that prosecutors need not prove a defendant actually used a weapon during a carjacking, merely that the defendant was carrying the weapon during a carjacking, during an attempted carjacking, or while fleeing from the scene of a carjacking or attempted carjacking.
Carjacking: Other Types of Robbery in Tampa, FL
There are a few other similar types of robbery on the books in Florida. Robbery by sudden snatching is also known as purse snatching and pick-pocketing. It occurs when an offender tries to steal money or property off another person and the other person becomes aware of the theft as it happens. Robbery by sudden snatching is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of five years unless the offender carries a deadly weapon other than a firearm or explosive, in which case it becomes a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years. If a firearm or explosive is used, however, enhanced penalties apply, and a minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years or 25 years to life will be imposed, depending on whether the weapon discharged (20 years if so, 10 if not) and whether it seriously injured or killed someone (25 years to life if so). Home-invasion robbery, finally, is a first-degree felony. Committed without a weapon or with a deadly weapon, it carries a 30-year maximum penalty. Committed with a deadly weapon, it carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. If the deadly weapon is a firearm or explosive, a 10-, 20- or 25-year minimum will be imposed.