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Types of Robbery Charges

Posted in Criminal Defense,Robbery on September 23, 2019

Any type of robbery charge in the state of California is serious. If you or a loved one have been charged with robbery or a related charge, consider securing legal assistance as soon as possible. The penalties for being convicted of robbery charges can be severe.

Penal Code 211

Under California law, robbery is defined under Penal Code 211. There, robbery is defined 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.

What does robbery look like in California?

There are various ways in which a person can face robbery charges. Some are obvious, while others are less obvious. All of the following, and more, could be considered robbery:

  • Breaking into a person’s home while the residents are there and threatening them with physical harm before stealing their belongings.
  • Carjackings (taking a car from a driver by force).
  • Drugging a person and then taking their belongings while they are unconscious.

What are the penalties for robbery?

Penalties for robbery in California vary depending on the specific charges. In California, there are two types of robbery – first degree and second degree.

  • First-degree robbery is punishable by up to nine (9) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or a combination of both jail times and a fine.
  • Second-degree robbery is punishable up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or a combination of both jail times and a fine.

Robbery charges can become “aggravated” in several ways that can result in enhanced sentences. For example, if a person causes great bodily harm to an individual while committing the robbery or attempting escape, they could face an additional six years in prison. Intentional use and firing of a gun in the commission of a robbery could result in life prison if it caused someone great bodily harm.

Robbery is punishable under California’s “Three Strikes” law. If a person already has two serious or deadly felonies on their record and then they commit robbery, they could face a minimum of 25 years in prison.

What does the prosecution need to prove in these cases?

Prosecutors need to prove the following elements in order to secure a robbery conviction:

  1. The defendant took property that did not belong to them.
  2. The property was taken from another person’s’ possession and immediate presence.
  3. The property was taken against the other person’s will.
  4. The defendant used force or threats of force to take the property in question and prevent the other person from resisting.
  5. The defendant intended to take the property away permanently or for a period of time that the owner would be deprived of the value or enjoyment of the property.

Are there legal defenses for robbery?

Everyone has the right to defend themselves in a court of law when they are charged with robbery. A defendant’s attorney will work to prove that their client:

  • Did not use force, the threat of force, or fear to take the property.
  • Honestly believe the property was theirs or that they had a right to it.
  • Was a victim of mistaken identity.
  • Was falsely accused by the victim or law enforcement.