News4Jax.com is reporting that two men have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a Walgreen's pharmacy.
Robbery in Jacksonville can lead to very serious penalties, especially when a weapon is used or even possessed by a person committing the crime. The defendant can be subjected to years to decades in a state prison, if convicted.
But poor state witnesses, shaky or fuzzy videos surveillance and trampled rights along the way by police can sometimes lead to charges with little evidence that can be successfully defended by an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer.
In this situation, according to the news station, two men were arrested after an officer spotted a getaway vehicle used after the Walgreen's pharmacy at Beach and University was allegedly robbed.
According to the report, the two men were arrested after a short vehicle and foot chase. Police are saying that the two 31-year-old men walked into the store, showed a weapon and stole pills from the store around 3 p.m.
After witnesses called police, a description of the getaway vehicle was put out to officers citywide. Within a few minutes, an officer spotted a vehicle that matched the description of the one used in the robbery.
Officers chased the vehicle and the men before making the arrests. Police said they found pills matching those stolen at the pharmacy on their possession when they were apprehended.
What may end up being an important part of this case is the weapon. The news story doesn't say what type of weapon was "shown" during the alleged robbery or whether police were able to find said weapon once they made their arrests.
In Florida, if a firearm is used during a felony, such as a robbery, the penalties can be enhanced. Under the state's 10-20-Life law, if a defendant has a firearm on them during a felony, they may be subjected to a minimum 10-year prison sentence. If the trigger is pulled, it's 20 and if someone is shot, it's 25 to life.
This changes everything. While robbery is already a felony punishable by years in prison if a person is convicted, adding a firearm makes the penalties that more difficult to overcome. If the weapon isn't a firearm, a person can still be charged with armed robbery as opposed to robbery, but that's still a felony.
In some cases when a person attempts to rob another person, they will act as if they have a weapon when, in fact, they don't. So, a witness will say the perpetrator had a weapon in their pants or pocket and sometimes prosecutors will attempt to charge a suspect with armed robbery when police have no proof a weapon was used. That is improper and must be closely examined.
There are many aspects of a robbery case in Jacksonville that can be torn apart by an aggressive Jacksonville criminal defense attorney. Not all cases are as they seem in the news media or as reported by police. There are often holes in the state's theory. An attorney just needs time to poke them out.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.
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Theft Crimes in Jacksonville: September 20, 2011
Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty to Grand Theft Over Brake Job: August 4, 2011