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Robbery – California Penal Code Section 211 PC

Robbery – California Penal Code Section 211 PC

California penal code section 211 PC robbery statute makes it a crime for an individual to steal the property of another person, from his immediate presence against that person’s will, through the use of force or fear. In California, robbery is always charged as a felony. If you have been charged with robbery under Penal Code 211 PC, you should not such a charge lightly as a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to six years.

So, if you have been charged with robbery, you should immediately contact an experienced robbery attorney to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to mitigate the potential consequences that you face. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Penal Code Section 211 PC – Robbery Criminal Statute

According to California Penal Code Section 211 PC states that “Robbery is 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.”

Note: Robbery is always charged as a felony because it’s a dangerous crime since it involves taking another person’s property from his immediate presence, increasing the possibility that a violent altercation will occur between the two, resulting in an injury to the alleged victim. For the prosecution to convict the defendant of robbery, it needs to show that he moved the property ever so slightly. Moving the property even a foot or two is sufficient to satisfy this requirement. Also, the number of robbery charges that can be brought against you depends not on how many items that you stole, but rather the number of persons you robbed.

Proving a Person Guilty of Robbery

For the prosecution to convict a person of robbery, it must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one element, he will not be able to convict the defendant of robbery. The prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant took the property of another
  • The property did not belong to the defendant
  • The property was taken from the immediate presence of another person
  • The property owner did not consent to have his property taken
  • The defendant used force or fear to take the property
  • The defendant had the intent to permanently deprive the property owner of his property

Penalties if Convicted of Robbery in Violation of Penal Code 211 PC

The penalties a person faces depends on whether the defendant was convicted of first-degree robbery or second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery is usually committed when the victim of robbery is the driver or passenger of a taxi, bus, subway, when the robbery takes place in an inhabited home, trailer, or boat, or when the robbery takes place while the alleged victim is using an ATM or immediately after he’s finished using an ATM. All robberies that are not first-degree robberies are second-degree robberies.

First Degree Robbery Penalties

  • Conviction of a felony offense
  • Up to three years, four years, or six years in California State Prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Placement on formal felony probation
  • Loss of your right to own a firearm for life

Second Degree Robbery Penalties

  • Conviction of a felony offense
  • Up to two years, three years, or five years in California State Prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Placement on formal felony probation
  • Loss of your right to own a firearm for life

Defenses to Robbery Charges

If you have been charged with robbery, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. You should know that the following list of defenses contains only some of the defenses that may be used, and is not exhaustive of all defenses that may apply to your case. To know exactly which defenses apply, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to go over the facts of your case to make such a determination.

Here are some of the defenses you may use:

  • The defendant did not use for or fear to take the property of another person
  • The defendant acted under a claim of right, believing that the property he took belonged to him
  • The defendant is being falsely accused of robbery
  • The defendant is a victim of mistaken identity

Examples of Robbery

The defendant walks up to a stranger and immediately demands that the stranger give him his Zippo Light or else he’ll shoot him. The defendant can be charged with and convicted of second-degree robbery because he used fear to take another person’s property (lighter) from his immediate person. Note: the fact that the lighter is cheap will not get the defendant off the hook.

The defendant walks into a Starbucks and sits down next to a girl. As she took a nap, the defendant took her laptop and left the store. Here, the defendant cannot be convicted of robbery even though he took the girl’s laptop because he did not use force or fear to take her property. That said, the prosecution may bring theft charges against the defendant instead.

Robbery vs Grand Theft vs Petty Theft

If the defendant takes the property of another person with the use of force or fear, the prosecution may still bring grand theft or petty theft charges against him, depending on the value of the property taken. For example, going back to our Coffee Shop example, if the defendant took another person’s laptop while he was sleeping, hey may be charged with grand theft if the value of the laptop exceeds $950. However, if the value of the laptop is $950 or less, the prosecution can bring petty theft charges against him.

Robbery Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with robbery in California in violation of California Penal Code Section 211 PC, you should immediately contact an experienced robbery defense attorney to represent you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. The attorneys at The H Law Group have the experience and knowledge necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. We have defended numerous individuals charged with robbery and have been able to achieve great results for them, so rest assured that your future is in good hands. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.