Robbery is a type of theft that occurs when a person takes another’s personal property from his or her immediate presence using force or the threat of force. If you’re facing robbery charges, contact our San Diego attorney immediately, so we can examine your case, build a legal defense, and work towards a favorable outcome.
Like other types of theft, robbery involves unlawfully taking someone’s possession and intending to deprive the owner of his or her of it permanently. The difference lies in the presence of force or threat. A robber uses force or the threat of force to carry out the theft. Here are some typical examples of robbery:
- The robber forces victims to hand over their possessions by threatening to hurt them, sometimes with a deadly weapon, such as a gun (armed robbery).
- The robber breaks into an inhabited home (which, in itself, is a burglary offense), threatens the occupants, and steals their possessions.
- The robber breaks into an inhabited home and steals. When the occupants find out, the robber threatens them until the owner lets him or her escape with the stolen goods.
Take note, too, that the counts of robbery are determined by the number of victims, not the number of items the robber has taken. So, if you allegedly used force on one person to take his or her possessions, that’s one count of robbery. If you allegedly used force on two people to take their possessions, that’s two counts of robbery.
A seasoned robbery attorney can explain the other elements of robbery involved in your alleged offense.
Types of Robbery in California
In California, there are two types of robbery:
- First-Degree Robbery – This is robbery committed against a driver or a passenger of a bus, streetcar, taxi, subway, cable car, or more; the occupants of an inhabited structure; or a person who is using, has just used, or is in the vicinity of an ATM.
- Second-Degree Robbery – All other cases not described above are considered a second-degree robbery.
To prove that you’re guilty of the offense, the prosecution has to show beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You took property that’s not your own.
- You took the item/s from the victim’s immediate presence.
- You took the item/s against the victim’s will.
- You used force or the threat of force in taking the victim’s property.
Penalties of Robbery
Robbery is charged as a felony in California, which means it carries steep sentences. The punishment that you could face depends on the crime.
- First-Degree Robbery – This entails a sentence of three to nine years in a California state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and a formal probation.
- Second-Degree Robbery – This carries a sentence of two, three, or five years in a state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and a formal probation.
Additionally, if the convicted individuals used a firearm to commit the offense, he or she could face an additional 10 years in prison. If he or she discharged the firearm, he or she could face an additional 20 years of incarceration.
Our robbery attorney can walk you through the defense strategies used in robbery cases, such as:
- Claim of Right – You honestly believe that you have a right to the property.
- Lack of force or fear – You didn’t use force or fear to take the property.
- Mistaken Identity – You are not the perpetrator of the crime.
If you’re facing robbery charges in California, reach out to our San Diego defense attorney immediately. The Law Office of Troy P. Owens, Jr offers a free initial consultation, where we’d study your case and possible legal defenses.