Burglary / Robbery
St. Petersburg Robbery and Burglary Defense Lawyers
Former Prosecutors on Your Side for Serious Felony Charges
St. Petersburg - Pasco County - Manatee County
Burglary and robbery are serious crimes that can carry heavy prison terms. The skill and experience of your legal counsel can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Tim Hessinger and Donald Kilfin are former prosecutors with experience defending against these charges. Contact us immediately for a free consultation to find out where you stand and how we can help. We take cases in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Pasco counties.
Many people misunderstand this charge. Burglary is defined as entering a car, home or business with the intent to commit a crime therein. You can be charged with burglary for sneaking or breaking into a building even if nothing was stolen.
We handle all levels of burglary and related offenses:
- 2nd-degree burglary (entering a home)
- 3rd-degree burglary (entering a business or automobile)
- 1st-degree burglary battery (committing a battery or assault during a burglary)
- Criminal trespass
- Receiving stolen property
Our number one goal is avoiding prison. In negotiations with prosecutors, we seek to reduce first-degree burglary to lesser felonies, or a low-level burglary to misdemeanor trespassing. Depending on criminal history and the circumstances, you may qualify for diversion programs that keep this off your record entirely.
An armed hold-up is a major crime, but a charge of robbery does not necessarily involve guns and ski masks. Robbery is taking the property of others by force or threat — a purse snatching, mugging or carjacking, even shoplifting that involves a struggle with security staff can be charged as a robbery.
Robbery is always a felony, and scores mandatory prison on the sentencing guidelines. In these cases we first attempt to impact the charging decision and then, if robbery charges are filed we evaluate the case for all possible defenses (i.e. self defense, witness credibility issues, etc.). If none of these defenses are viable we often pursue a departure from the sentencing guidelines. This involves the presentation of mitigation evidence to the court.
Armed robbery with a firearm carries a 10-year mandatory minimum prison term — 20 years if the gun is discharged, and 25 years to life if the victim suffers great bodily harm.
Home invasion, entering a residence by force, armed and with intent to rob, is a first-degree felony with a life sentence.
Robbery and burglary charges are also subject to steep enhancements for previous convictions. Depending on priors and actual violence, you may face 10 years, 20 years or life as a Violent Career Criminal, Habitual Violent Offender, Habitual Felony Offender or Parole Release Offender.
Mr. Hessinger and Mr. Kilfin have handled many robbery, and burglary cases as prosecutors and as defense attorneys. They know how police investigate these crimes and how prosecutors build their cases. This experience enables them to spot weaknesses in the case that create leverage for their clients. Mr. Hessinger and Mr. Kilfin will carefully scrutinize the physical evidence, conflicts in witness testimony, witness credibility issues, constitutional rights violations and police misconduct to maximize your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome. Contact our St. Petersburg law offices for a free consultation,
by e-mail or at