Under California law, a robbery, in violation of Penal Code 211 through 215, is a very serious offense. Robbery is a “strike” offense under California Three Strikes Law, if you are convicted of robbery you will face state prison time, massive fines, and a strike on your record under California’s three strikes law, which results in even harsher penalties if you are ever convicted of another crime.
If you or a loved one are charged with robbery in Los Angeles County, it is essential you contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer to fight for you.
To be convicted of robbery, the prosecution must prove:
- The defendant took somebody else’s property
- The property was taken from another person’s possession and “immediate presence”
- The property was taken against that person’s will
- The defendant used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the person from resisting
- The defendant intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently or keep it for an extended period of time
In robbery cases, it does not matter what the property at issue is. Even if the property stolen is virtually worthless, a person can be still charged with a robbery.
Even if a person does not actually possess the stolen property, they can still be charged with robbery.
In California there are two degrees of robbery:
First degree robbery includes carjacking, a robbery which occurs inside an inhabited dwelling, and robbery of a person who is using just used an ATM machine.
All other robberies are considered second degree robbery.
Punishment for Robbery Convictions
A first degree robbery can carry a maximum prison term of nine years (more if a firearm is involved).
Second degree robbery carries a maximum prison term of two, three or five years.
Theft vs. Robbery
If force or fear is not used to acquire the property it is a theft not a robbery. Theft is a lesser offense than robbery. While all robberies are a form of theft, not all thefts are robberies.
Examples of thefts frequently overcharged as robberies:
- A person is accused of snatching a purse or a chain from another person, this may not be robbery – this may be a theft, a lesser offense with lesser penalties.
- A person is accused of shoplifting and is accused of pushing past a store security guard while running out of the store. This also may be charged as a robbery, but in reality may be a theft.
Call an experienced robbery defense lawyer.
If you or a loved one are accused of robbery, you must quickly contact a qualified defense lawyer to begin fighting for you. Key witnesses must be interviewed and steps must be taken to protect important evidence that may be the key to you or a loved one’s freedom.
California Penal Code 211-215 – Robbery
211. Robbery is 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.
212. The fear mentioned in Section 211 may be either:
- The fear of an unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed, or of any relative of his or member of his family; or,
- The fear of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed at the time of the robbery.
(a) Every robbery of any person who is performing his or her duties as an operator of any bus, taxicab, cable car, streetcar, trackless trolley, or other vehicle, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in the air, and used for the transportation of persons for hire, every robbery of any passenger which is perpetrated on any of these vehicles, and every robbery which is perpetrated in an inhabited dwelling house, a vessel as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code which is inhabited and designed for habitation, an inhabited floating home as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, a trailer coach as defined in the Vehicle Code which is inhabited, or the inhabited portion of any other building is robbery of the first degree.
(b) Every robbery of any person while using an automated teller machine or immediately after the person has used an automated teller machine and is in the vicinity of the automated teller machine is robbery of the first degree.
(c) All kinds of robbery other than those listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) are of the second degree.
213. (a) Robbery is punishable as follows:
(1) Robbery of the first degree is punishable as follows:
(A) If the defendant, voluntarily acting in concert with two or
more other persons, commits the robbery within an inhabited dwelling
house, a vessel as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and
Navigation Code, which is inhabited and designed for habitation, an
inhabited floating home as defined in subdivision (d) of Section
18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, a trailer coach as defined in
the Vehicle Code, which is inhabited, or the inhabited portion of
any other building, by imprisonment in the state prison for three,
six, or nine years.
(B) In all cases other than that specified in subparagraph (A), by
imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years.
(2) Robbery of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in
the state prison for two, three, or five years.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 664, attempted robbery in violation of
paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in
the state prison.
214. Every person who goes upon or boards any railroad train, car
or engine, with the intention of robbing any passenger or other
person on such train, car or engine, of any personal property thereon
in the possession or care or under the control of any such passenger
or other person, or who interferes in any manner with any switch,
rail, sleeper, viaduct, culvert, embankment, structure or appliance
pertaining to or connected with any railroad, or places any dynamite
or other explosive substance or material upon or near the track of
any railroad, or who sets fire to any railroad bridge or trestle, or
who shows, masks, extinguishes or alters any light or other signal,
or exhibits or compels any other person to exhibit any false light or
signal, or who stops any such train, car or engine, or slackens the
speed thereof, or who compels or attempts to compel any person in
charge or control thereof to stop any such train, car or engine, or
slacken the speed thereof, with the intention of robbing any
passenger or other person on such train, car or engine, of any
personal property thereon in the possession or charge or under the
control of any such passenger or other person, is guilty of a felony.
215. (a) “Carjacking” is the felonious taking of a motor vehicle in
the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate
presence, or from the person or immediate presence of a passenger of
the motor vehicle, against his or her will and with the intent to
either permanently or temporarily deprive the person in possession of
the motor vehicle of his or her possession, accomplished by means of
force or fear.
(b) Carjacking is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison
for a term of three, five, or nine years.
(c) This section shall not be construed to supersede or affect
Section 211. A person may be charged with a violation of this section
and Section 211. However, no defendant may be punished under this
section and Section 211 for the same act which constitutes a
violation of both this section and Section 211.
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