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Robbery Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

Overview of California's Robbery Laws: PC 211

Robbery is the taking of property from another person's possession or immediate presence against their will by means of force or fear. This force may involve a deadly weapon (armed robbery), or it may just involve simple physical force (strong arm robbery). Robbery is different from burglary or theft in that robbery involves person to person confrontation, the threat of or use of force along with the intent to coerce and prevent resistance. Under California Penal Code Section 211, robbery is a serious and violent felony offense that is punishable by a term of imprisonment in state prison.

Use of a weapon or infliction of great bodily injury during the commission the crime carries a stricter sentence than simple robbery. If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery in Los Angeles, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced robbery defense attorney a soon as possible.

A criminal conviction can have devastating effects on your life, so it would benefit your case to hire a lawyer as soon as you have been arrested. The legal team at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can put more than seven decades of experience to work for you as soon as you give us a call at (213) 481-6811.

What is the Difference Between First & Second-Degree Robbery?

In California, robbery is divided into crimes of the first and second degrees. First-degree robbery, which is defined under Penal Code Section 212.5(a), occurs in an inhabited dwelling, vessel, or trailer. First degree offenses also include robbing the operator of a bus, taxicab, cable car, or street car.

Robbery of a passenger of any vehicle used for transportation for hire and robbery of any person using an automated teller machine (ATM robbery) are also classified as robbery in the first degree. According to Penal Code Section 212.5(b), second-degree robbery includes all other types of robbery.

Penalties & Sentencing for Robbery Crimes

A robbery conviction carries serious penalties, with first-degree robbery carrying a state prison sentence of three to nine years. Second-degree robbery is punishable by two to five years in state prison. Robbery is also a "strike" in California and falls under the umbrella of the Three Strikes Law. A convicted felon with a prior "strike" on their record would be facing a doubled prison sentence for any future felony convictions.

Penalties for first-degree robbery include:

  • Three, four or six years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Formal, or felony, probation

Penalties for second-degree robbery include:

  • Two, three or five years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Formal, or felony, probation

Aggravating factors could lead to enhanced sentencing. For example, the use of a gun during a robbery will add 10 years to your sentence. If the gun was discharged during the robbery, it will add an additional 20 years to the sentence. If you have been accused of killing or seriously injuring someone with a gun, you could face 25 years to life. A robbery conviction can also lead to deportation for legal or illegal immigrants.

What Is Considered Aggravated Robbery?

In California, the crime of robbery can be considered “aggravated” under certain circumstances, which could lead to enhanced sentencing.

Aggravating factors leading to enhanced sentencing could include:

  • Use of a Firearm: Intentionally using a firearm in the commission of a felony, including robbery, in California is considered an aggravating factor. Enhanced sentencing depends on the situation; you could face 10 additional years in prison for the use of a firearm during a robbery, 20 additional years for firing a gun during a robbery, and 25 additional years to life in prison for firing a gun and causing “great bodily injury” or death to another person during a robbery.
  • Great Bodily Injury: If the alleged victim of the robbery sustains “great bodily injury,” this can lead to enhanced sentencing of an additional three to six years in prison. “Great bodily injury” is determined by the jury on a case-by-case basis.
  • Robbery in Concert: “Robbery in concert” means the alleged robbery was carried out by three or more people and involved the robbery of an inhabited dwelling or building. This is considered an aggravating factor and could lead to enhanced sentencing of up to nine additional years in prison.

Additionally, because robbery falls under California’s “Three Strikes” Law, you could face enhanced sentencing of two times the normal prison sentence for a second “strike” and 25 years to life in prison for a third “strike.”

Legal Defenses to Your Robbery Charges

There are several different elements that must be established in order to convict you of a robbery offense. It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you stole another person's property, that the property was in their immediate presence, and that you used force or the threat of force to deprive them of their property.

In order to combat a conviction, we will attempt to prove that:

  • You did not use force or fear to take the property
  • You thought that you had a right to the property
  • You are the victim of mistaken identity
  • You have been falsely accused of committing a crime

If your defense lawyer can create reasonable doubt about any of these elements, it would be difficult for a jury to hand down a guilty verdict. Similarly, it may be possible to secure a reduction of your charges even before your case goes to trial if we can establish that the crime does not rise to the level of first or second-degree robbery.

Don't Fight Your Charges Alone – Contact Us Today

In a theft case, your Los Angeles robbery defense attorney will face determined and aggressive prosecutors who bear innumerable government resources. To withstand this force, you will need a skilled legal professional who can level the playing field. We know the stakes are high in a robbery case, and we understand that the best results often occur on the eve of trial. We will prepare for trial seeking a "not guilty" verdict.

The team at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners has considerable experience in handling and defending those facing first and second-degree robbery charges. We provide aggressive representation of our clients at every stage of the criminal proceedings—from arraignment through trial. With over 70 years of combined experience, we have a winning attitude when it comes to representing our clients.

Contact our Los Angeles robbery defense lawyer to set up a free consultation! We have the experience you need on your side.

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