A Yulee Shell gas station manager posted a homemade sign that customers with hooded sweatshirts should lower hoodies before entering the store. In the wake of controversy over the Trayvon Martin shooting involving a hoodie, the manager says he wants to get a good look at potential robbers, as a matter of safety.
Because of the severe possible penalties involved in a case of robbery in Jacksonville, it is very important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Robbery defenses often include mistaken identity or misidentification and lack of physical or forensic evidence or DNA. An attorney with extensive experience in dealing with theft crimes who can evaluate one’s case to determine the best possible defense and the best plan for challenging the State’s case and evidence.
Robbery is defined in Florida as taking property away from another by force, violence, assault, or putting the person in fear. Robbery differs in how severely it is punished based upon various factors, including whether or not a gun or other type of weapon was used in the crime. Robbery can range from a third degree felony, exposing one to up to five years in prison, to a first degree felony, punishable by life in prison. Additionally, in the case of armed robbery, where a gun is used during a robbery, Florida’s 10/20/Life minimum mandatory sentences apply, which can mandate a minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years to life, depending on the circumstances.
Mistaken eyewitness identification occurs when a crime victim or eyewitness mistakenly identifies someone as the offender even though that person didn’t commit the crime. In other words, the witness has simply accused the wrong person. Mistaken identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States.
Mistaken identity is a shared problem throughout Florida as well as the rest of the U.S. that continues despite years of social science and psychological research into its causes and corresponding efforts to implement criminal justice reforms to guard against it. As a result, private citizens have taken their own initiative, like in this case, in attempting to make sure that surveillance footage, as well as their own personal identification of the robber, is accurate.
The State prosecutor has the burden of proving all of the elements of a robbery crime, including that force or fear was used and that one intended to take the items in order to temporarily or permanently deprive the rightful owner of the items. If the State is not able to meet this burden, one should not be convicted of a robbery defense. One needs to obtain an experienced Jacksonville robbery crimes defense attorney who can help show reasonable doubt in one’s case as to whether the prosecutor has successfully proven the robbery charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
When one is charged with a criminal offense of this nature, the choices one makes at the beginning of one’s case can greatly impact the direction of one’s case, especially one’s choice of an experienced Jacksonville theft defense attorney.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Yulee gas station warns customers to lower hoodies, Drew Dixon, The Florida Times Union