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Defending against a charge of home invasion in Florida

Florida is one of the few states in the country that lists home invasion as a distinct crime, separate from other types of ordinary breaking and entering charges.

Because of the nature of a home invasion -- the very idea of which terrifies many people -- you face a stiff sentence if you're convicted.

Home invasion is the illegal entry into an occupied dwelling place with the express intention of committing a robbery while you are there. Home invasions are rarely committed by an individual acting alone, and weapons are often used to intimidate or subdue the victims.

Victims are often chosen either because they make easy targets, like the elderly, or because they're believed to have significant amounts of cash and valuables on hand.

The penalty for a home invasion if you're carrying a firearm when the incident occurs can be life in prison. That makes it especially important to understand how to get your defense off on the right footing. You don't want to make it easy for the prosecution.

In order to prove a home invasion charge, the prosecution has to prove not only that you entered the building, but that you also did so with the express purpose of robbing the occupants and then did so.

It's possible for a good defense attorney to challenge the forensic evidence gathered as well as eyewitness evidence. Forensics can be sloppy or hastily gathered and eyewitness accounts can be unreliable. It's also possible to charge the motive assigned to your actions. You may have believed, for example, that you were only going to the residence to visit friends -- with no idea what was about to happen next. Or, your friends may have convinced you to come along while they "collected" some money they were due, never telling you that you'd just been recruited for a home invasion.

If you're charged with a felony home invasion, don't wait -- seek legal help immediately.

Source: www.leg.state.fl.us, "Title XLVI Chapter 812.135 Home-invasion robbery," accessed June 01, 2017

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