Have you been charged with robbery or accused of a robbery in Pinellas County, Clearwater, St. Petersburg or surrounding areas?

We Handle the Defense of Crimes of Violence including Robbery and firearms charges and accusations

Crimes of violence ordinarily include robbery, battery on a law enforcement officer, home invasion, Aggravated assault, aggravated battery, Murder, manslaughter, resisting arrest and crimes involving death or serious injury


Florida statutes defined several types of robbery. Most are considered extremely serious charges. You should immediately contact an experienced and respected robbery defense attorney for a consultation.

What is Robbery?  Robbery means the taking of money or other property from the person or custody of another person with the intent to permanently or even to temporarily deprive the person or the owner of that money or property, and what makes it a robbery instead of a theft is that in the course of taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting someone in fear in order to get the item.  Burglary and robbery are not the same.  When some people say my house was robbed they are usually referring to a burglary unless someone was home and confronted at the time.

Robbery by sudden snatching means the taking of an item from a person by using any amount of force beyond that effort necessary to obtain the possession of the money or other property, or that there was resistance offered by the possessor of the property. For example, taking an item out of someone’s hand quickly and unexpectedly is probably a theft, but if the person tries to hold on to it, and any force is used to take it, it becomes a robbery.   Often in a robbery charge a defense to be explored is whether the charge was actually a theft or whether there was sufficient force to support a robbery. Common types of robbery charges are purse snatching, bicycle theft, and items taken from retail stores where a security guard is involved. This type of robbery is a felony of the third degree carrying a maximum of five years in prison.

Use of Weapons or Firearms – if during the course of a robbery the offender carried a firearm or another deadly weapon the robbery is increased to a felony of the second degree carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Also, See below for specific penalties regarding crimes involving the possession or use of firearms and any other minimum penalties, such as Florida’s 10 – 20 – life statute.  Florida law deems that something is during the course of a robbery if it occurs in an attempt to commit the robbery or in fleeing after the attempt to commit the robbery. So if someone is trying to get away and pushes someone or fight someone to get away it will be a robbery.

Other types of firearm offenses include improper sale of a firearm, shooting into an occupied dwelling possession of a short barreled rifle or shotgun, a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying a concealed firearm.

Larry Sandefer is a Clearwater robbery defense attorney who handles Pinellas County robbery charges as well as Pasco County robbery charges and the entire state of Florida. Please review his experience and qualifications and call for a free no obligation meeting.

Home invasion robbery

A home invasion robbery is a robbery that occurs when someone enters a dwelling with the intent to rob and does in fact robbed the occupants therein. This is a felony of the first degree hearing a maximum 30 years in prison. If a weapon or firearm is used in maximum penalty increases to life imprisonment. Again, see below for specific penalties regarding crimes involving the possession or use of firearms and any other minimum penalties, such as Florida’s 10 – 20 – life statute.

Use of a firearm during the commission of a crime

10–20–Life Laws


Whenever a person is charged with a felony, except a felony in which the use of a weapon or firearm is  already an essential element, and during the commission of that felony the person carries, displays, uses, or threatens to use  weapon, the felony for which the person is charged to be reclassified to a higher degree felony. If a minimum mandatory sentence applies for a weapons offense the minimum mandatory overrides the maximum statutory penalty. If a person carries a firearm during the commission of a felony under Florida’s 10-20- life statute that person is subject to a 10 year minimum prison sentence. If a firearm is discharged during the commission of a felony and does not strike a person, there is a 20 year minimum sentence. If a person is shot during the commission of a felony the mandatory 25 year minimum to life sentence may be applicable. These are, obviously, serious accusations. If a person has been arrested for or suspected of an offense involving a firearm that person should contact an experienced weapons and firearm defense attorney. There are defenses that can be explored and strategies that can be discussed. Never think that there are no defenses to your case.  Call us and let us go over your case confidentially in a free no obligation consultation.

Assault/aggravated assault

The difference between an assault and battery is that an assault generally does not involve any contact but involves a threat by either word or act. An assault is an unlawful threat do violence to another person while having the ability to do so, and creating a well-founded fear in the other person that violence is about to take place.

An ‘aggravated’ assault is a threat with a deadly weapon or a motor vehicle.

A deadly weapon can be a gun, a knife, or anything which could cause serious injury. Often times an issue in aggravated assault accusations is the so-called “weapon” and whether it is a deadly weapon or not. Another issue which should be explored is whether the person had the apparent ability to carry out the threat. Were they too far away, were they not serious?

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony carrying a maximum of of a five-year prison sentence. However, aggravated assault with a firearm can carry a minimum mandatory 3 year prision sentence. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in the County jail.

Battery / Aggravated Battery

Battery is actually or intentionally touching or striking another person against their will or intentionally causing harm to a person. A misdemeanor battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree with a penalty of a maximum of one year in the County jail. If a person has a prior battery conviction, what would have been a misdemeanor battery becomes a felony battery simply because of the prior conviction. A felony battery because there is a prior battery is a felony of the third degree and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

A domestic battery occurs if there is a domestic relationship between the people. This can be a dating relationship or a family or household relationship. Special procedures and defenses apply to domestic battery. Please check out our section on this website regarding domestic battery.

An aggravated battery occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a person, or uses a deadly weapon. It is also an aggravated battery if the person struck was pregnant and the offender knew it or should have known it at the time.

The Florida punishment code assigns certain scores for certain offenses. Aggravated battery normally will carry a score that will call for a presumptive minimum state prison sentence. Aggravated battery charges are taken seriously by the prosecuting authority and should not be dealt with lightly by a person accused. This is true even, and especially, if the alleged victim no longer wishes to pursue the charges. Florida prosecuting authorities do not have to drop charges when a witness or alleged victim request that they do. Prosecutors will often proceed with charges under the circumstances. If you are charged with aggravated battery you should consult with and seek the help of an experienced aggravated battery defense attorney. Sandefer law firm is an experienced Pinellas County aggravated battery defense law firm, Pasco County aggravated battery defense of firm, and Hillsborough County aggravated battery defense law firm.   Call us and come in for our free consultation to discuss your individual circumstances and case.
Read more on Assault / Battery Offenses

Battery on Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders-Serious Charges

An assault on a law enforcement officer or first responder is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If it is an aggravated assault it becomes a felony of the third degree and carries a minimum prison term of three years. However, a battery on a law enforcement officer or first responder is a felony of the third degree. If it is an aggravated battery it becomes a felony of the first degree carrying a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 30 years..
Read more on Battery on Law Enforcement Officers

Resisting arrest

People who get arrested are often times charged with the additional charge of resisting arrest either with violence or without violence. Resisting arrest without violence means a person “resisted” but did not use force. This may occur when a person is accused of running, giving false information, or not complying with police orders. Resisting arrest without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor. A defense to resisting arrest without violence can be that the arrest itself was not a legal arrest. This defense does not apply to felony charge.

A person who resists an arrest with force of any type may be charged with resisting arrest with violence, which is a third-degree felony.Although intoxication is not a defense to a resisting charge, that and other factors may come into play regarding mitigation or intent.

If you are charged with these offenses you should explore the individual facts of your case with an experienced battery on a law enforcement defense attorney who has handled resisting arrest charges. Please see our experience and qualifications and call us. All initial consultations are at no charge and are in the strictest of confidence.

Crimes involving death or serious injury

If you are accused or charged with DUI involving serious injuries or DUI manslaughter please view our information in the DUI section of this website. Florida has enacted strict and severe laws regarding these charges. You should seek the immediate advice of an experienced DUI Manslaughter or DUI Serious Injury Lawyer. Larry Sandefer has extensive experience in this area.

Many types of charges can result when there has been a death or serious injury. The resulting charge may be a homicide, which can be a first degree murder, a second degree murder, manslaughter, or can be justifiable homicide or self defense. Other offenses involving death or serious include vehicular homicide, aggravated battery, leaving the scene of an accident, road rage, and a variety of other offenses. Each type of charge can carry severe consequences. Each also has specific defenses which may apply and evidentiary issues unique to that charge. Whenever there is a death or serious injury medical and scientific evidence will be involved. Larry Sandefer has extensive experience in death and injury cases including evidentiary issues. We have access to medical and scientific experts that may help us in your defense. Do not assume that your case or a loved one’s case is hopeless. Let us talk with you about what we can do to defend you case.

Murder, Homicide, Manslaughter Defense

When Experience Counts, Count on Experience

As a division director at the state attorneys office Larry was on call for homicides in Pinellas County Florida. He would be called to the scene of suspected or confirmed homicides with the police and before the scene was touched to advise law enforcement regarding the crime scene and investigation. He was on the homicide response team while at the State Attorney’s Office, also investigating police shootings.


Larry Sandefer has presented homicide cases to the Grand Jury in Pinellas county for the Grand Jury’s consideration of whether to bring down an Indictment.

Mr. Sandefer is intimately familiar with crime scene techniques and evidence procedures in all types of cases including the preservation of evidence, chain of custody issues, collection techniques, and the sciences of forensic evidence . These include DNA, fingerprints, polygraphs, blood spatter experts, blood analysis, tire tread and shoe mark analysis, strangulation, injection of substances in to the human body, contract killings, police questioning techniques and violation of rights, child witnesses, child hearsay, wiretaps, authorization or wire intercepts, grounds for obtaining search warrants, fourth amendment search issues, and much more.

Larry Sandefer Is an experienced homicide defense lawyer and murder defense lawyer. He has extensive experience in representing people charged with murder, homicide, or offenses resulting in death. He prosecuted murders from the prosecution side before opening his defense practice.  He has tried well over 20 murder cases to verdict and has handled many more. These homicide cases included multi-jurisdictional cases where Mr. Sandefer worked closely with authorities in other states to invesitgate or resolve murder cases in such states as Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, and California.

While a Division Director at the office the state attorney he was called to the scene of homicides to advise the police. He knows both sides of a homicide case and the types of evidence which are collected and which are sought to be introduced. He will fight for your rights and your freedom. Experts are often necessary for advice and use any homicide or death case. We have contacts with and access to the best experts in fields such as blood, toxicology, cause of death, shaken baby syndrome, fingerprints, DNA, Voice analysis, out of court identification, in court identification, false confessions, and many more.

First degree murder cases may involve a penalty phase. Larry Sandefer has handled many penalty phases as both prosecutor and defense attorney. Mitigation experts are important in cases where the state is seeking the death penalty. While defense to the charge of first-degree murder is paramount, consideration must also be given to preparation for and presentation of mitigation if a penalty phase is necessary.

In non-death penalty cases the Florida punishment code factors in the degree of injury in scoring points which are used by prosecution and judges to determine what a minimum, or presumptive, sentence should be. An injury under the punishment code can be classified as slight, moderate, severe, or death. The number of points assigned for each type of injury is different and each can have a dramatic effect on scoring under the punishment code. Caselaw and factual differences can allow us to argue that lower points should or may apply in many cases, significantly impacting the resulting sentence upon a plea or conviction.

Florida statutes do recognize certain mitigating factors for defense, and the facts of each individual case may present individual defenses to certain charges or degrees of offenses. These are matters which should be discussed with an experienced robbery, violent crime, or weapons offense defense attorney. Please visit our section on experience and qualifications and contact us. We look forward to helping you.

If you are involved in a charge or accusation where someone was injured, or is claiming injury, or where a death has occurred, you should seek the assistance of an experienced violent crime defense attorney immediately. There are things which you can do to help your own defense and things that can be done not only to mitigate these charges but defenses which should be discussed and explored.

Contact Florida Criminal Lawyers

Larry Sandefer – Criminal Defense Attorney

Florida Homicide Defense Attorney, Murder Defense Lawyer Pinellas County

* Over 30 Years Courtroom Experience

* Former Lead Trial Lawyer & Division Director

* Over 5000 Criminal Cases Handled

* Hundreds of Jury Trials as sole or lead counsel