SAN RAFAEL Robbery attorney

What To Know if You're Charged

It's stressful and aggravating to be charged with robbery, but it's important to know what to do if you're charged and the kinds of defenses your counsel might use to avoid a conviction. Read on to know everything you need about being charged with robbery on this page.

What are Robbery Charges?

Robbery, as defined by the California Penal Code 211, is fairly straightforward and the prosecution must prove multiple aspects in order to secure a conviction. These aspects are:

  • The defendant took property that they did not own
  • The property was currently in the possession of another person – this aspect differentiates robbery from theft
  • The property was taken in the immediate presence of the property owner
  • The property was taken against the property owner's will
  • The defendant used force or fear to take the property, or used force or fear to stop the person from resisting
  • When the defendant used force or fear, they did so with the intent of permanently removing the property from the original owner

These stipulations cover practically every variation of a robbery encounter. Property can be anything that technically belongs to the victim, no matter how small or how little value it ostensibly holds. Furthermore, the property can be taken and moved for only a short while and still be the subject of robbery.

Still, all of these caveats open up multiple defense avenues that a California criminal defense attorney can use to your advantage.

Penalties for Robbery Charges

Robbery penalties will vary based on whether it's classified as first or second-degree.

First-degree robbery is usually charged when the victim is a driver or passenger of the vehicle, if the robbery takes place in an inhabited house, trailer or boat, or if the robbery takes place during or immediately after the victim used an ATM. Such robbery is punished as a felony and incurs penalties including:

  • Felony probation
  • Up to six years in California state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Second-degree robbery is any robbery that doesn't meet the above definitions. It's also charged as a felony and comes with similar penalties:

  • Felony probation
  • Up to five years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Defenses for Robbery Charges

There are multiple ways in which your counsel can defend you against robbery charges.

Force or Fear Wasn't Used

Since robbery charges explicitly require that the defendant used force or fear to get what they wanted, if these aspects were not present, it wasn't robbery at all. That's because force and fear represent a level of incentive for the victim. Without them, there's no proving that the victim didn't give the defendant the property out of their own free will.

Reasonable Right to Belief of Property Ownership

You can't be charged with robbery if you attempted to take back property you believed rightfully belonged to you. This occasionally happens when pieces of property are contested between two individuals.

False Accusation/Mistaken Identity

Many people are unfortunately bigoted, and they may make a false accusation against you simply because you look like the person who robbed them. This defense will help you avoid a conviction by proving that you did not, in fact, take part in the robbery at all.

Contact a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Learning what to expect from a robbery trial is just the start. You should contact the law offices of Peter James Chambers right away to get a free consultation and begin working on your defense strategy with one of the best criminal defense attorney in California.