California Penal Code 211

In the state of California, robbery is covered under Penal Code 211 and is always charged as a felony. If you have been arrested and charged for robbery, make sure to contact skilled defense lawyers in Sacramento for legal expertise. Robbery is defined as the taking of a person’s property from that individual’s person or their immediate presence against their will through force or fear.

The elements that constitute robbery are as follows:

  • The property in question was taken by a person to whom it did not belong: they gained possession of the property or they moved said property some distance, even if a very small distance
  • The property was in the possession of another person: “possession” is not limited to physically holding an object; having control or the right to control the property in question constitutes possession in the state of California. The individual from whom the property was stolen does not need to be the same person as the actual owner. For example, a store clerk or other employee of a business is said to have possession of the store’s property.
  • The property was taken from the possessors’ immediate presence: the property must be in the immediate presence of the owner/possessor to be considered a robbery in California. “Immediate presence” includes when the property is within the owner/possessor’s physical control, so he or she would have been able to keep possession of the property if the robbery did not occur.
  • The property was taken against the owner or possessors’ will: this is satisfied if the owner did not consent to the taking of the property. Consent is only valid when given freely by someone who understands what he or she is doing. There is no consent if permission was not asked. Therefore if you threaten a person and they drop their wallet while fleeing, taking this wallet would be considered robbery. Since you did not ask whether or not it was okay to take it, there is no consent.
  • Force or fear was used to take the property or to prevent the owner from resisting the taking of his or her property: force, under robbery law, means physical force. Fear means fear of injury to any of the following: the victim; a family member of the victim; the victim’s property; someone else present during the incident. Force or fear includes drugging an individual and taking his or her property. Physical force must be significant – the slight touch of a pickpocket does not constitute force.
  • The property was intended to be removed from the owner’s possession either permanently or for a long enough time that the owner was deprived of a major portion of its value or enjoyment.

Penalties for Armed Robbery in California

Robbery offenses in the state of California are always treated as felonies and should require the assistance of experienced defense lawyers in Sacramento. There are two types of robbery: first and second degree.

  • First degree robberies include the following circumstances: the robbing of any driver or passenger on a bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, cable car, or any other public transportation; robberies that take place in an inhabited structure; robbery of an individual who has just used and is still in the vicinity of an ATM
  • Second degree robberies include all robberies that do not meet requirements for robbery in the first degree.

The penalty for a robbery conviction includes jail time that varies based on the circumstances surrounding the robbery. Robbery in the first degree is punishable by 3 to 9 years in California state prison and robbery in the second degree is punishable by 2, 3, or 5 years in California state prison. If you have been arrested for robbery, make sure you contact defense lawyers in Sacramento immediately.

Weapon Usage During a Robbery

The use of a deadly weapon during the course of a robbery may result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence as well as increased sentencing. When an individual commits a robbery in the first degree while armed with a deadly weapon (not necessarily a firearm), the individual charged must be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in California state prison.

When the individual even mentions or indicates that he or she has a firearm, there is a mandatory minimum. When the firearm is an assault weapon, the mandatory minimum sentence is 8 years in state prison.

In situations in which a firearm is present during a robbery, the following sentences may be added to an individual’s jail time.

  • Use of a firearm – may result in 10 additional years in state prison
  • Discharging a firearm – may result in 20 additional years in state prison
  • Discharging a firearm resulting in great bodily injury or death – may result in 25 additional years in state prison or a life sentence

Legal Defenses to Robbery Charges in California

The most common legal defenses to robbery charges, which defense lawyers in Sacramento can explain, are as follows:

  • You did not use force or fear to take property.
  • You believed you had consent or the right to take the property.
  • You are a victim of mistaken identity.
  • You were falsely accused.

Robbery is a violent felony that carries sentences in state prison and a significant mark on your record. It’s important to seek legal representation to help you fight your charges. Seeking legal advice from a experienced and motivated defense lawyers in Sacramento may improve your chances of an acquittal.

Contact Our Defense Lawyers in Sacramento for Your Legal Needs

Having represented clients all throughout Northern California who have been charged of criminal charges, you can trust Allaye Chan Law to represent you in your criminal lawsuit. Give us a call at (916) 446-4400 to speak to some of the most experienced defense lawyers in Sacramento.