The court systems must prove several elements to secure a robbery conviction in California. Including that the accused caused “fear.” California Penal Code Section 212: The Element of “Fear” in Robbery Cases provides official information about this element of the charge.
You can learn more about fear and the other aspects of a robbery accusation with our team at the Simmrin Law Group. Find out more today by contacting us.
What does PC 212 Tell Us About Fear in Robbery Cases?
PC 212 discusses the element of fear in robbery cases. This section of the legal code provides specific information about what the court means when it uses the term “fear” regarding these criminal charges.
Individuals instill “fear” during a robbery if they cause another person to fear for the health and safety of:
- A family member
- A person in their company
Additionally, a robber could make an alleged victim fear damage to their property or the personal property of a family member or another person. The court determines if the alleged victim had reasonable cause to experience fear.
The accused in a robbery claim may instill fear in a victim by making threats, drawing a weapon, or through more subtle actions.
What Are the Four Elements of Robbery in California?
California Penal Code Section 212 discusses the element of fear in robbery cases. Altogether, prosecutors have to establish four elements to secure a conviction. In addition to fear, prosecutors have to demonstrate:
- Element One: The accused took property belonging to another person.
- Element Two: The theft took place in the presence of the property’s owner and against the owner’s will.
- Element Three: The accused intended to keep the property permanently.
The court only issues a conviction for robbery if all four elements are present in a criminal act.
What Are California’s Robbery Laws?
California uses several laws to define and prosecute robbery crimes. First, California Penal Code Section 211 provides basic information about the actions that result in a robbery conviction, including the four elements we discussed.
According to California’s legal codes, individuals can face two charges for robbery:
Individuals can face a charge for first-degree robbery if they meet all the elements of a robbery charge and they rob:
- Someone driving or riding in a vehicle, including buses, taxis, and cable cars
- Someone who recently used an ATM
- Someone within an inhabited structure
Generally, the court system considers first-degree robbery to be a very serious criminal act.
The court treats all robbery charges in California that do not qualify as first-degree robbery as second-degree robbery. Both first and second-degree robbery represent examples of felony charges.
What Are the Penalties for a Robbery Conviction?
California Penal Code Section 212 deals with the element of fear in robbery cases, but not the penalties for a conviction. California Penal Code Section 213 provides information on the results of a conviction.
According to PC 213, individuals can face up to six years in prison for most first-degree robbery convictions. However, the court may sentence individuals to up to nine years in prison if the robbery occurred in an inhabited structure or if the accused worked with at least two people.
Individuals convicted of second-degree robbery may face up to five years of time in prison after a conviction. The court system also uses several sentencing enhancements to penalize individuals convicted of robbery by adding time to their sentence.
Does a Robbery Conviction Count as a Strike in California?
California uses a three-strike system to increase the penalties for certain violent felonies. For example, Technically, robbery counts as a violent felony in the state. Therefore, robbery convictions count as strikes on an individual’s criminal record.
The court system can double the prison sentence for anyone accused of a second felony with one strike on their record.
Individuals who end up with three strikes can end up facing life in prison after a conviction. However, a lawyer in California can help individuals accused of any violent felony, including robbery.
What Defenses Help With Robbery Charges in California?
Individuals charged with robbery in California do not have to simply accept a conviction. A violent crimes lawyer can step in to provide a defense, protecting the rights of the accused. Some common defenses for robbery include showing:
- The charges resulted from a case of mistaken identity.
- Police officers violated the rights of the accused.
- The accused did not cause fear during the course of a theft.
The prosecution has to prove the element of fear in robbery cases based on California Penal Code Section 212 to secure a conviction. Therefore, a defense lawyer may work to show that the accused made no threats to avoid prison time for their client.
How do Lawyers Handle Accusations of Fear and Robbery Charges?
Prosecutors must prove that their client experienced fear to secure a robbery conviction in California. Defense lawyers often dig into the facts of a case, reviewing the actual actions taken by the accused.
In some cases, lawyers work to show that the way the accused behaved would not have caused fear in a reasonable person.
Discuss the Element of Fear and Robbery Charges With a Lawyer
Do you want to learn more about California Penal Code Section 212: The Element of “Fear” in Robbery Cases? You can get answers to your questions from legal professionals when you reach out to the Simmrin Law Group.
Contact us today by completing our online contact form or calling us. We’re ready to provide you with legal assistance today.