Robbery or Armed Robbery in San Diego is an offense when property is taken from another person by the use of force or threat. A simple theft can turn into a robbery pretty quick when any type of contact is used. If anyone during a theft alleges that someone used physical contact with him or her, the district attorney may see this as a robbery. To better understand Robbery in California, we will answer some of the most common questions asked about it. If you are charged with a  Robbery in San Diego you should find the right Robbery defense attorney to handle your case.

What is a PC 211 Charge in California?

A Penal Code 211 charge in California is considered a robbery. It can be charged as either first or second-degree robbery. The elements to commit this offense are:

  • The defendant took property from someone else
  • The property was taken out of another person’s possession or immediate presence
  • The property that was taken without their consent and was taken against their will
  • The person used force or fear before taking the property of another
  • When the defendant took the property from another they had the intent to permanently deprive that person of their goods

The case law after these elements has been very helpful to clarify what the law means, in regards to these elements. The first distinction is that the intent to deprive must have occurred before the force or fear took place, if it occurred after, then a robbery did not occur.

An example would be as follows: lets say two people are leaving a sports game and they are fans of opposing teams. Their arguing gets to a point where it is obvious the two are going to fight. They start fighting and halfway through they just stop realizing its not a good idea. As the one person is running away, he realizes that the other person’s wallet must have fallen out of their jacket, that person grabs the wallet and continues running. This would not be considered a robbery under the law.

The next distinction would be when is the robbery committed and the law defines that as well. It explains that a person has committed the robbery when they take the goods and move it some distance, but they are very clear that the distance could be ever so slight. If you rob someone for their wallet and you walk an inch, that would likely be considered a robbery.

The last important definition the law has given us is the fear definition. It explains that fear is fear of injury to that person, their property, their family or to someone else present in the immediate vicinity.

Is Robbery a Felony in California?

Robbery is a felony in California. It is not what is considered a wobbler, and it cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor no matter what factors are present. If you are convicted of a robbery, that conviction will stay on your record as a felony.

What is first degree Robbery?

Robbery in the first degree is a much more serious robbery than robbery in the second degree. The first degree could be one of many types. It could either be a home invasion, a carjacking, on someone using an automated teller machine or an armed robbery. A home invasion would be breaking into someone’s home and committing a theft by means of force or threat. A carjacking would be stealing someone’s car by means of force or threat. This is also the same with a robbery of someone using an ATM. An Armed Robbery is a robbery where a gun was used and this is the absolute most serious kind of robbery. If a gun was used then the prosecution can add the 12022.53 allegation, which increases the penalties and will be discussed below.

What is 2nd Degree Robbery?

Robbery in the second degree is any other type of robbery not listed above. Although this is not in the first degree it is still considered a strike offense. A strike offense means that if convicted one will serve a longer portion of their full sentence, and on any future convictions their sentence will be doubled.

How much time do you get for Robbery?

For Robbery in the first degree the sentence range set by the penal code is 3, 4, or 6 years in prison. For Robbery in the second degree the sentence range is 2, 3 or 4 years in prison.

If a gun was used and the 12022.52 section is added then this can add a lot of time in prison. For using a gun during a robbery it adds an additional 10 years in prison and that is even if the gun was not fired. If the gun was fired, it adds an additional 20 years in prison, whether or not the bullet hit anyone.

With a minimal criminal record, it is possible to get probation on a Robbery case. That would mean that the individual who got probation would do anywhere from 0-365 days in jail and they would be given felony probation for a term of three years. If they completed probation they would then have a change to get their case expunged and dismissed.

What is an Estes Robbery?

An Estes robbery is one that happens with a loss prevention officer. Most people are shocked to hear that this conduct is a robbery but in California, the case of People v. Estes defined another way to be convicted of a robbery charge. If someone is leaving a store where they stole an item and a loss prevention officer comes up to them and tries to apprehend them then that is where an estes robbery can potentially occur. If that person uses any type on physical contact whatsoever, that would be considered an estes robbery. Common defenses to an estes robbery are that the loss prevention officer created the physical contact first and that there was no resisting after the contact was made.

Defenses to Robbery

Common defenses to robbery include mistaken identity or lack or intent. Robbery defenses also include mistaken identity, which is common because people will wear masks while committing a robbery or it is dark and it is hard to see your assailant. If the defendant is guilty this can work in their favor by showing there are identification issues. Lack of intent is also another common defense for robbery. As explained above, if the intent was not created until after the force of fear occurred, then that person will not be guilty of robbery.

Call for a free consultation

At Ozols Law Firm we offer free consultations on all of our cases. Alex Ozols is a criminal attorney here in San Diego who cares about his client’s cases. We have defended a large amount of robbery cases and have even been a part of some of the most highly publicized robbery cases in San Diego County. Whether its downtown San Diego, El Cajon, Chula Vista, or Vista, we are the experts in San Diego Robbery defense.