Robbery is treated as a very serious offense in the state of California. Penal Code 211 is the California statue that governs how robbery is defined and prosecuted in this state.
How Is Robbery Defined Under Penal Code 211?
According to the law, robbery in the state of California is defined as the taking of someone else’s personal property while in that person’s presence with the use of force or through the creation of fear. This separates it from other forms of theft. For example, if a person steals property in secret without the knowledge of the victim, it is not a robbery.
The fear referred to in the penal code could be fear of harm or injury to the victim, to a family member or relative of the victim or to anyone at the scene of the crime. It could also be a threat to harm or destroy the victim’s property.
How Is Robbery Punished Under Penal Code 211?
If a person is convicted of first degree robbery in California, it could result in a prison term of three, four or six years in length. Second degree robbery could result in a prison term that is three, four or five years in length. An attempted robbery that was ultimately unsuccessful can also result in a bid in the state penitentiary.
What Is the Difference Between First and Second Degree Robbery?
Whether or not a robbery is prosecuted as first or second degree depends on how the crime was committed. If the victims that were robbed were the passengers or operators of a subway car, train or bus, it will be treated as a first degree robbery. Similarly, if the person robbed was using an ATM machine, it will also be prosecuted as a first degree robbery. This is also the case for robbery victims that were within an inhabited residence. All other types of robberies are usually prosecuted as second degree.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Since the penalties of being convicted of robbery in California are rather severe, having adequate legal counsel is paramount. Representing yourself in such serious matters is never wise. A seasoned lawyer may be able to obtain an acquittal of the charges or a plea deal that will result in less serious penalties.
In regards to obtaining an acquittal of the charge of robbery, there are a number of strategies to do so. For example, it could be proven in court that a person believed the property belonged to him or her. Alternatively, it could also be proven that there was no use of force or coercion through fear. These must exist for a robbery to have taken place. If the property was exchanged without any use of weapons, threat of violence or the expectation that harm would come to anyone, a robbery under Penal Code 211 did not occur.
Overall, to get the best possible outcome in a robbery case, the accused needs an attorney with experience in this part of the California criminal code.