California Robbery Law

robbery law in california

According to California law (Penal Code §211), 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.

Robbery is a theft of another’s property, committed openly, that is to say, in the presence of the owner of items (a person who understands that the offender commits a crime). It is committed as stealing property, committed without violence against the person or with violence, which is not dangerous to life and health. Thus, robbery differs from theft (secret theft of another’s property) and burglary (entering any structure with the intent to commit grand or petite larceny or any felony).

California Penal Code sets forth that in order for the robbery to be considered committed, the prosecutor has to prove the following elements of the crime:

  • Taking another’s property,
  • The property has to be in the possession of another,
  • The act of taking has to be against will of this person,
  • The offender has to use force or fear,
  • When the defendant took the property (he/she) intended (to deprive the owner of it permanently/ [or] to remove it from the owner’s [or owner’s agent’s] possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property).[1]

According to California Penal Code robbery is always considered to be a felony. Nonetheless we distinguish two degrees of robbery: first degree robbery and second degree robbery.

First degree robbery is defined in the section 213 of the Penal Code. This list includes offenses committed against drivers or passengers of any type of commercial vehicle, dwellings houses and ATM users.[2]

If the defendant, voluntarily acting in consent with two or more other persons, commits the robbery within an inhabited dwelling house or the inhabited portion of any other building, it is punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or nine years.

In all other cases, the defendant may be sentenced of an imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years.

All other types of robbery are considered to be second degree robberies.

Robbery of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or five years.

All forms of robbery are strikes in California. If charged with a third felony, and you have two prior strikes, you will be referred to as a “third striker” and will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life in California state prison.[3]

Have you or a loved one faced accusations of committing robbery in California? The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. Each defense will be developed upon the facts of your individual case. Do not hesitate to contact us. You will get your legal assistance as soon as you contact us. We handle every aspect of your case, from the first step to the very last court hearing.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

[1] Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 1800

[2] California Penal Code 213(a)

[3] California Penal Code 667

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