Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending People Who Have Been Accused of Robbery
Robbery is covered under California Penal Code Section 211. This theft crime is defined as using fear or force to take property from another person against their will.
In order to be considered a robbery offense, an individual has to:
- Take the property directly from, or
- In the immediate presence of the alleged victim
Robbery charges could include the taking of property with physical force or with the use of a deadly weapon, commonly known as armed robbery. The value of the property taken does not matter.
It's important to note that a defendant does not actually have to possess the property in order to the charged with robbery. It only requires a confrontation between two people where force or the threat of force was used.
If the robbery occurred for the benefit of a gang, there is a California Gang Sentencing Enhancement Law.
If you are facing robbery charges in Los Angeles, call Eisner Gorin LLP to review your case and legal options.
Our criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors who now have a top-rated law firm. We use our vast experience in the criminal justice system to provide our clients with unmatched legal representation.
We know how a Los Angeles County prosecutor will attempt to build their case against you and will use this knowledge to plan an effective defense strategy to obtain the best possible outcome on your case.
Call our Los Angeles or Van Nuys office for a consultation.
How is PC 211 Robbery Defined in California?
Robbery is considered a California theft crime and is different than most other theft related offenses because it involves force, fear, or intimidation in the presence of a victim.
You could face robbery charges under California Penal Code Section 211 if you:
- Take property from someone else in their immediate presence
- Using force, fear, or intimidation
- Against their will
In order to be charged with robbery, it requires that you take their personal property without their consent. In the context of PC 211 robbery, taking property means you gained unlawful possession of the property and you moved it to another location.
A robbery offense can also occur if take personal property from someone else in their immediate presence.
As stated above, it's important to note the victim does not have to have actual possession of their personal property.
What this means legally is that you could still be charged with PC 211 robbery if you take property directly from a victim - or - you take property that is within their presence.
Under CALCRIM 1600 Jury Instructions, which are the elements of the crimes for robbery, property will be considered to be within a someone's immediate presence if it's "sufficiently within their physical control that they could keep possession if not prevented by force or fear."
In the context of PC 211 robbery, there is no specific distance to determine if property is within someone's immediate presence.
The key factor is whether the victim could have kept or protected their property if it had it not been for force or fear. Penal Code 212 PC defines the term "fear" as it's used in the crime of robbery.
How is Using Force or Fear Defined in Robbery?
In order to commit a robbery offense, it requires that you used force or fear to complete the theft crime.
Clearly, "force" and "fear" can be debated by a criminal lawyer while making an argument about the elements of the crime. There is no single clear definition to determine force or fear in a robbery case.
This is where the facts of the case, evidence, and witness testimony will be provided to a judge or jury so they can determine if force or fear did exist. Clearly common sense can play an important role.
For example, if you pushed someone to take their property, there would be no argument force or fear existed. Another example would be if you displayed a weapon or made threats.
First-degree robbery is defined under California Penal Code Section 212.5. It includes every robbery of an individual who are performing their duties as an operator of a commercial vehicle (taxi, bus, etc.), an inhabited home or apartment, and of any individual using or just used an automated teller machine (ATM).
Second degree robbery includes all kinds of other robberies not included in the definition of a first degree robbery. See related: Solicitation to Commit a Crime.
Legal Penalties for a PC 211 Robbery
A conviction for a first degree robbery can range from a three to nine year state prison sentence. If a weapon was used, a defendant could receive enhanced enhanced penalties.
Since it's considered a felony offense, it may count as a "strike" under California's Three Strikes law.
Most robbery crimes, without aggravating factors, will be charged a second degree robbery. If convicted of a second degree felony, your penalties can include the following:
- Two, three, or five years incarceration in California state prison
- A fine up to $10,000
- Formal felony probation
- Victim restitution
Defenses to Robbery Charges in Los Angeles
Every case has their own unique set of circumstances and evidence. It's critical that your criminal defense lawyer thoroughly review all the specific details of your case in order to determine to appropriate defense strategy.
Our skilled lawyers use a variety of legal defenses to create reasonable doubt, including:
- You did not use force or fear to obtain property - In some cases, we may be able to present a valid argument that a defendant did not use force or fear, or sufficient force, to rise to the level of a robbery offense.
- You are a victim of mistaken identity - It's not uncommon for alleged victims of robbery to become emotional and not clearly remember the proper description of the individual who robbed them. Police often rush to solve their case and errors in identification can be made.
- Lack of Intent - In order to obtain a robbery conviction, the prosecutor has to prove your cases beyond any reasonable doubt. It's possible a defendant did not have the specific intent to permanently deprive an alleged victim of their property because they believed they had a right to the property.
Real Robbery Case Examples
Our law firm has achieved many court victories for our clients facing any type robbery charges. We are aggressive in the defense of our clients and expert negotiators. Below are just a few examples of our courtroom victories:
Robbery Acquittal - LAX Airport Courthouse
Client charged with several counts of robbery with firearm at a fast food restaurant. Witnesses claimed they observed our client close to the drive thru window just prior to the alleged robbery.
They also wrote down his license plate number. Police detectives used a photo lineup and our client was positively identified by four witnesses, including employees of the restaurant. At trial, we used an eyewitness identification expert to show police lineups are suggestive and frequently inaccurate. After careful deliberations by the just, they returned a not guilty verdict.
Robbery Acquittal - Pasadena Superior Court
Client was facing charges of robbery and assault. Two witnesses wrote down his license plate at the scene and positively identified him later from a photo. After an independent investigation,
We presented a case that the prosecutor and witnesses could not prove the location of our client at the time of the alleged robbery. The prosecutor agreed with our findings and decided to dismiss the case prior to trial.
Los Angeles Robbery Lawyer
If you are under a criminal investigation for robbery, or already charged, it's critical to consult immediately with one of our criminal defense lawyers to review all the details to determine a defense strategy.
Early intervention into your case can be critical to the outcome. We will conduct our own investigation of the facts and evidence on your case. We need to make sure witnesses are interviewed and the evidence is properly protected.
We know the serious nature of robbery charges and how a conviction can impact your personal and professional life.
Our experience as courtroom negotiators have proven we may be able to have your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. If a trial is necessary, we will thoroughly prepare and always seek a not guilty verdict.
We are aggressive in the defense of our clients in every stage of the legal process. We defend any type of robbery offense in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.
Our decades of combined experience in criminal law have taught us how a prosecutor will investigate and build a robbery case.
Our Los Angeles robbery defense lawyers have the knowledge and skills to prepare a strong legal defense. Call our law firm today at 310-328-3776 for a free immediate response.