A man who came back to a Clay County gas station to pay off a $3 debt ended up handing himself to police for an arrest on an armed robbery charge. A gas station clerk was telling a police officer about her “good deed” by loaning a man in an old truck $3 for gas and that he even left his wallet for collateral, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. As the woman described the man, the officer realized the description was similar to that of a man accused of robbing a local sandwich shop the night before, the newspaper reported. When Brian Jeffers returned to the store to pay off his debt an hour later, police were waiting for him and arrested him for armed robbery in this Clay County Theft Case, the newspaper reported.
Jeffers is facing up to life in prison on the armed robbery charge, which is a first-degree felony. In this Clay County Theft Case, Jeffers is accused of walking into the restaurant and keeping his hand in his coat pocket like he was carrying a gun, then demanding cash and coming around the counter to grab about $200, the newspaper reported. It is not clear from the newspaper report whether or not Jeffers had a gun during the robbery, though, according to Florida law, it does not matter in terms of his charges. A person can be charged with armed robbery by threatening to use a weapon, as long as it would be reasonable for the victim to assume that the suspect had a gun. If someone points his or her finger inside a coat pocket insinuating he or she is armed, that can qualify as an armed robbery. The charge often applies in bank robbery cases if a person passes a note indicating he or she has a gun and is demanding money.
The same is true if a person uses a toy gun or an air gun in a robbery. The Clay County Theft Case becomes an armed robbery if the victim is reasonable in thinking the gun is real, and the fact that it is not in fact a deadly weapon does not matter. Armed is in the eye of the alleged victim in Clay County Theft Cases, whether a person has an actual gun or not – though there are plenty of arguments a Clay County Theft Attorney can make to try to have the crime reduced to a robbery, which has a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Our Clay County Theft Attorney has represented hundreds of people charged with various theft crimes and is experienced in the elements the state must prove to qualify a robbery as an armed robbery.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.