The charge of robbery can be punished very harshly in the court system in California. All accusations of this form of theft are prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 211: Robbery.
You can expect very severe consequences if you are convicted of robbery. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, you could be charged with first degree robbery or second degree robbery. The Simmrin Law Group can help you learn more about these charges.
The Definition of PC 211: Robbery
In order to be convicted of robbery, a person must:
- Take Another Person’s Property
- Against the Will of the Property Owner
- Using Fear or Force
Individuals should only be charged with robbery if they take something in the owner’s immediate presence. Note that robbery charges can also apply if someone drugs a property owner and then takes their possessions.
PC 211 is always prosecuted as a felony in California, which means the penalties for robbery can be incredibly high. A robbery conviction can lead to incarceration, fines, and probation.
First Degree Robbery vs. Second Degree Robbery
Individuals in California can be charged with either:
First Degree Robbery
A first degree robbery charge only applies in specific cases. Individuals can be charged with first degree robbery for robbing someone:
- Who Recently Used A Nearby ATM
- Who is Within an Inhabited Structure
- Who is Driving or Riding in Any Kind of Motor Vehicle
Note that a first degree robbery charge can also apply if someone is robbed in a cable car or a subway car. First degree robbery is considered more severe than second degree robbery in California.
Second Degree Robbery
The court uses the charge of second degree robbery to prosecute all acts of robbery that do not meet the definition of first degree robbery. This broad charge can be used to prosecute many different acts that violate PC 211.
Second degree robbery is seen as less severe than first degree robbery. However, a second degree robbery conviction still leads to prison time and incredibly steep fines.
Penalties for a Robbery Conviction in California
Individuals who are convicted under PC 211 in California can face the following repercussions:
- Up to 9 Years for First Degree Robbery
- Up to 5 Years for Second Degree Robbery
- Up to $10,000 for First Degree Robbery
- Up to $10,000 for Second Degree Robbery
Robbery convictions can also lead to a period of felony probation. You should be aware that there are also sentencing enhancements that can increase the penalties for robbery in some circumstances. The court may increase an individual’s prison sentence if:
- Multiple People are Threatened or Exposed to Acts of Force
- A Victim Sustains a Great Bodily Injury
- A Gun was Used and No One Was Hurt
- A Gun was Used and Someone Was Hurt
Defenses for Robbery Charges Under PC 211
Individuals who are charged with robbery may have legal options. It is important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you or a loved one is facing charges under PC 211. A lawyer can look over any robbery charges to determine if any of the following defenses would apply to your case:
You Did Not Intend to Steal Anything
A robbery conviction requires you to act with the intent to steal something. If you grabbed something from another person – perhaps because they were attacking you – without intending to steal it, you should not be charged with robbery.
You Did Not Subject Anyone to Fear or Force
Robbery differs from other theft crime charges such as:
- California Penal Code Section 484(a) & 488: Petty Theft
- California Penal Code Section 487: Grand Theft
- California Penal Code Section 459: Burglary
Robbery stands apart because it requires an individual to use force or fear. If you did not forcefully interact with another person or intentionally frighten them, you should not be charged with robbery.
You Never Committed Robbery
False accusations do lead to criminal charges in some circumstances. A criminal defense lawyer can help you build a chase if you were wrongfully accused of violating PC 211.
You Can Get Legal Help Handling a Robbery Charge in California
Individuals charged under California Penal Code Section 211: Robbery can end up facing years of prison time and high fines. You do not have to fight these charges alone. Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group today for legal advice. Call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form now.
The Simmrin Law Group offers a FREE initial case evaluation to individuals accused of robbery in California.