Robbery is considered a serious violent crime, and a conviction for it can wipe out your bank account, damage your reputation and your future, and land you in prison for years. According to the California Department of Justice, there were 54,312 incidents of robbery in California in 2018, accounting for around 1/3 of the total violent crimes in the state.
If you are one of the many people arrested each year for this major crime, it is critical that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to identify and weigh your options. To prove that a robbery took place, the prosecution must show that your case meets a complex set of elements set forth in the Penal Code – if just one part of the definition of robbery is missing from the prosecution’s case, a competent defense lawyer should be able to secure a victory. Each part of the legal defintion of robbery is examined below, giving you an opportunity to learn the basics while you select the right lawyer.
Attorney for Robbery in Ventura, CA
A conviction for robbery can drastically impact your freedom, finances, and reputation, and may cause you to lose other rights like owning a firearm and voting. Immediately retaining an aggressive lawyer with experience handling violent crimes is the best plan if you or a loved one is being charged with robbery.
Jay Leiderman Law is board-certified in Criminal Law (a feat claimed by less than 1% of California lawyers) and had been representing clients across California for years in a broad range of criminal cases, from petty theft to murder, in both state and federal court.
Headquartered in Ventura, he works with clients in all ten Ventura County cities – Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura proper. If you or a loved one is facing robbery charges, do not hesitate to call Jay Leiderman Law at (805) 654-0200 for a free consultation.
Overview of Robbery Law in California
The Legal Definition of Robbery
Under California Penal Code § 211, robbery is defined as the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear. This must be done with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently or for a substantial period of time. The crime of robbery is always classified as a felony in California.
The term “taking” requires proof of the following two elements:
- achieving possession of the property (known as “caption”); and
- carrying the property away (known as “asportation.”)
The most common defenses in a robbery case involve a showing that you did not commit the offense because the “taking” never happened (you didn’t actually possess the property or you didn’t actually carry it away), that you did not use force or fear to take the property, or that you reasonably believed that you had a right to the property taken.
Penalties for Robbery in California
Under Penal Code 211 PC, the crime of robbery carries serious felony penalties. Robbery is divided into the first and second degree, but it is always a felony.
All robberies are robbery in the second degree except for when the robbery occurs under the following circumstances:
- the robbery involved any driver or passenger on a bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, or cable car;
- the robbery takes place in an inhabited structure;
- the robbery involves any person who used or is near an ATM machine.
The penalties for first degree robbery include a prison sentence of between three (3) and six (6) years, and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000). If you are accused of committing the first-degree robbery in an inhabited structure, in concert with two (2) or more other people, then the potential state prison sentence is increased to three (3), six (6) or nine (9) years.
If the crime is classified as a second-degree robbery, then the penalty is two (2), three (3) or five (5) years in state prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
The penalties for robbery can be enhanced with proof that the crime caused another person to suffer a “great bodily injury” under California Penal Code 12022.7. The term “great bodily injury” is defined as a substantial physical injury. The sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury can add an additional three (3) to six (6) years to the robbery sentence.
Crime Trends in California, Public Policy Institute of California – Here is a helpful infographic on violent crime and property crime in California. Numerous charts and graphs are provided that illustrate raw data about the rates of different crimes county-by-county. The robbery rate is shown to vary the most widely between counties, with some counties having very high and others very low rates, whereas other crimes tend show more consistency across counties.
Crime Statistics, Open Justice Initiative, California Department of Justice – A very powerful search tool for crime statistics that compiles all kinds of law enforcement data and makes the information explorable to researchers and the public. For example, you can search the total arrests for robbery each year in the state, then narrow it down by county, and even view arrest rates for different weapon types (robberies involving knives, etc.) Try different search terms for some interesting results.
Ventura County Robbery Lawyer
If you were accused of any robbery offense prosecuted under Section 211, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Jay Leiderman Law.
During the initial strategy session, you can learn more about the charges pending against you, the possible punishments, and the best defenses that can be use to aggressively fight the prosecution’s accusations.
Contact us to schedule a time to strategize about the best way to fight your robbery case or any other violent crime charges you may be facing. Call (805) 654-0200 today for a free, confidential consultation.