Robbery is defined in CA Penal Code Section 211 as “the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.” Robbery by force may describe physical strength, power or influence to make the victim comply. Robbery by fear may describe a reasonable fear of injury to the victim, the victim’s family or any other person in the victim’s immediate presence.
Robbery may be categorized in the first or second degree depending on the circumstances of the alleged theft offense. A defendant may face first degree robbery charges for an offense involving an inhabited dwelling, vessel or motor vehicle or for an act of robbery at an automated teller machine (ATM). All other forms of robbery may be classified as second degree robbery.
Penalties for Robbery
A robbery conviction carries harsh penalties, and it is important that you do whatever you can to avoid these. First degree robbery may be punishable by 3, 4, 6 or 9 years in state prison (depending on the circumstances of the offense). Second degree robbery may be punishable by 2, 3 or 5 years in state prison.
Because it is a violent felony offense, it may count as a “strike” on a defendant’s criminal record, resulting in increased penalties for any second strike and 25 years to life in prison for a third felony conviction of any kind.
Proving Robbery in Court
The good news is a skilled attorney can work tenaciously to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduction of charges and to disprove their efforts at trial. They must successfully prove several elements to obtain a conviction, including:
- You took property that was not yours
- The property was taken from another person’s possession or in their presence
- The property was taken against that person’s will
- You used threats, intimidation or force to take the property
- You intended to deprive the owner of the property on (essentially) a permanent basis
The crime of robbery is completed once the perpetrator either gets caught or reaches a safe place.
If you’ve been accused of robbery, do not hesitate to call a San Diego criminal lawyer at The Law Offices of Top Criminal Defense Law Firms, APLC. We are committed to providing the legal representation you need to fight these serious theft charges.
There is no time to waste if you have been accused of robbery or any type of criminal offense. Contact a San Diego robbery attorney at our law firm today if you would like dedicated legal counsel and personalized service.