A criminal charge in Florida can have serious ramifications, with penalties varying depending on the specific offense. However, in Florida, some crimes are punished more severely than others — such as armed robbery. Case in point, the recent arrest and subsequent armed robbery charges against New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker.
The alleged incident occurred on May 13 in Miramar, FL. Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, were attending a cookout in the area when a fight ensued. At some point after the fight broke out, Baker reportedly drew a handgun, then he (along with several other men) allegedly proceeded to rob the patrons.
Baker and Dunbar turned themselves in after the incident and were arrested. Baker was charged with four counts of armed robbery on August 7. However, due to a lack of evidence as to whether Dunbar was armed, he will not be prosecuted but is still liable to face the wrath of the NFL. Both cornerbacks were placed on the exempt list, which means they cannot participate in the league’s training camp.
As for Baker, the situation continues to escalate. Aside from the armed robbery charges, a Daily Mail article reported that the 22-year-old cornerback is now facing a hefty civil lawsuit. The plaintiffs, three supposed robbery victims, are seeking $100,000 in damages. They claim Baker stole a collective $70,000 in cash and watches from them at the cookout.
If convicted, Baker could face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life prison.
Robbery vs. Armed Robbery Charges
Florida Law defines a robbery as the act of taking property or money from another person without intention of returning the items. A robbery is usually classified as a second degree felony. However, if the person involved in the robbery was carrying a firearm or other deadly weapon, the charges are elevated to a first degree felony.
That being said, the burden of proof still remains a key factor in an armed robbery conviction. A criminal defense lawyer would be able to investigate the incident further and protect the accused’s rights.
In Baker’s case, it may be argued that he drew a firearm as a knee jerk reaction to the fight in an attempt to protect himself. It may also be argued that he had no intention of taking any money or valuables from those at the cookout. Since a court date hasn’t been set, we have yet to see what kind of evidence will be presented.
Obtaining Legal Counsel With a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Anyone who is facing armed robbery charges in Florida has the right to seek legal counsel with a criminal defense lawyer. A local attorney who focuses on representing felony and misdemeanor cases, like Michael D. Weinstein, PA, can help reduce or even dismiss the charges against you. Reach out to an attorney to learn more about your options.