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California courts take robbery charges seriously. Unlike theft, which is considered a property crime, robbery is committed against a person. As such, it is always charged as a felony. This makes for particularly harsh punishments. If you or someone you love is being charged with robbery, then you need an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney working on your case.
The Elements of Robbery in California
As with all crimes, the prosecutor is responsible for proving certain elements in order to get a robbery conviction. Only through demonstrating that all of these elements are present can the District Attorney hope to succeed. If even one is missing, then they may not proceed with prosecution. These elements are:
-The defendant removed an item of property belonging to another person,
-The property owner was present,
-The property was taken without the owner’s consent,
-Force or fear was used to obtain the property or prevent resistance by the victim, and
-The accused intended to keep the item or to permanently deprive the owner of its use.
A qualified Los Angeles robbery attorney may be able to prevent the prosecutor from proving all of these elements. Doing so is not always easy. That’s why it is imperative to work with a criminal defense attorney who has significant experience in this particular area. Attorneys with this experience understand the process that prosecutors go through. This enables them to proactively work on your defense, minimize surprises and achieve a better result.
First and Second Degree Robbery in California
State law recognizes two degrees of robbery crimes. Robbery in the first degree is considered the more serious offense. Accordingly, it carries harsher punishments. A defendant may be charged with first degree robbery in Los Angeles if the alleged crime occurred in a residential home, at an ATM machine, involves a carjacking or is committed against a taxi driver. Robberies under all other circumstances are categorizes as second degree. Examples of second degree robbery in Los Angeles may include mugging or strong-arm robbery. Regardless of whether you are accused of committing a crime in the first or second degree, you need a capable Los Angeles robbery lawyer working for you.
California Armed Robbery Charges
The penalties become even more severe when a weapon is used in the commission of a robbery. Simply having a firearm while committing robbery can add 10 years to any prison term. If the gun is actually fired, then the term may be extended by an additional 20 years even if no one was physically harmed. When the victim was physically harmed or killed during the crime, this may mean that the defendant is sentenced to 25 years in prison or for a term of life in prison.
Penalties for Robbery in Los Angeles
First degree robbery charges may lead to a prison sentence of between three and nine years. Being convicted of second degree robbery may mean spending between two and five years in prison. Unfortunately, that is not the end of the consequences. Many people who are convicted of robbery are ordered to pay restitution to victims as well as to pay fines and court fees. A mandatory term of parole or probation is also included. In some instances, the defendant’s driver’s license will be permanently revoked. Because robbery is considered a felony, most people convicted of this crime will lose their right to vote and may never be able to purchase or own a firearm. Anyone who has robbery or a similar conviction on their record may find it difficult to obtain work or rent an apartment. Clearly, one conviction can have serious consequences that you may feel for the rest of your life. It is in your best interests to try to resolve the situation as much as possible in your favor.
Talk to a Los Angeles Robbery Attorney Instead of the Police
You won’t do yourself any favors by speaking with the police. In fact, most people only dig themselves into a deeper hole when they agree to law enforcement interviews. Police are adept at getting people to trip over their words, making it easy to misconstrue an innocent statement as something else entirely. The police are sometimes more interested in closing a case than they are in seeing that justice is done. Their enthusiasm for getting on to the next case can be extremely bad news for your future. That’s why you need to schedule an appointment with a California criminal defense attorney.
Los Angeles Robbery Lawyers Working for You
It can be terrifying to be investigated for or accused of committing a robbery. However, you are not powerless in this situation. Tell the police that you won’t be speaking to them without your attorney being present, and then contact the criminal defense lawyers at this firm. Our attorneys have helped numerous California robbery defendants maintain their freedom and their good reputation through hard work and a devotion to justice. It’s our job to find holes in the prosecution’s case, and it’s something that we are very good at.
Contact our robbery defense attorneys today. The sooner they get involved with your situation, the sooner they can begin defending your rights. Don’t let the police convince you that you don’t need an attorney. They are looking out for their interests, not yours. We’re in the business of protecting our clients from the police and from being wrongfully convicted.