Robbery is a serious criminal offense in California.
A conviction could result in significant prison time. Facing a robbery charge is stressful, scary, and confusing. During one of the most difficult times in your life, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. Your rights must be protected and you must be given a full and fair opportunity to present your side of the story and to defend yourself.
At Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our San Diego robbery defense attorneys provide clients with strong, sophisticated representation at every stage of the legal process. We have the skills and experience needed to get false charges dropped — and we know how to protect the rights and interests of defendants.
If you or your family member was arrested and charged with robbery or any related criminal offense in San Diego, please do not hesitate to call us for a fully private initial consultation.
California Law: What is Robbery?
Under California Penal Code Section 211, robbery is defined as the felonious taking of another person’s property through the use of violence, physical force, or the credible threat of physical force. To be clear, this means that robbery is different than theft. In California, theft charges do not require any element of actual or implied physical force. In order to convict a defendant of robbery charges, California prosecutors must be able to prove the following four things:
- The defendant unlawfully took property that did not belong to them;
- The property either took the properly directly from the victim, or the property was within the victim’s immediate physical presence;
- The defendant used actual force or the use of fear to unlawfully obtain the property; and
- The defendant intended to deprive the rightful possessor of the use of their property for an extended period of time.
California prosecutors can convict a person of robbery if they unlawfully took something directly from another party and they used actual physical force or fear to do so. If any of the required elements did not occur, then robbery charges are not appropriate. The case must be dismissed.
The Penalties for Robbery in California
In California, robbery charges come in two basic forms: first degree felony robbery and second degree felony robbery. A first degree robbery is one that occurs in a home, a vehicle, on public or private transportation, or in the direct vicinity of an ATM machine. Under California law, first degree felony robbery is punishable by three to nine years in prison.
Robberies that occur in other locations are generally charged as second degree felony robberies. This is still a very serious criminal offense — a conviction is punishable by two to five years in prison. With both types of robbery charges, the defendant may face up to a $10,000 fine.
It should be noted that California law allows for — and sometimes requires — sentencing enhancements. First, a robbery counts as a conviction ‘strike’ for the purposes of the state’s “Three Strikes” sentencing rules. A prior criminal history could lead to a defendant facing especially harsh penalties for a robbery conviction. In addition, a defendant could face severe punishment if there were multiple victims, if they used a firearm or another deadly weapon in the course of committing the crime, or if they caused a serious injury to the victim.
Defending Robbery Charges in San Diego
There are a number of different defenses that can be raised in robbery cases. If you were charged with robbery, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced San Diego, California defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to help you build the appropriate legal defense for your specific case. Some notable defenses to robbery include:
- Innocence: Prosecutors must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, in some cases, defendants face wholly false robbery charges.
- Mistaken Identity: A robbery may have occurred, but you may not be the guilty party. It is not uncommon for eyewitnesses to identify the wrong person as the one who committed the robbery.
- Good Faith Mistake: If you, for whatever reason, had a good faith and reasonable belief that you had a right to the property in question, that fact can be raised as a defense against robbery charges.
- No Use of Force: As a general matter, robbery is a more serious criminal charge than is theft. If force was not used, a felony robbery charge may be inappropriate, even if property was unlawfully taken.
Why Work With San Diego Robbery Defense Lawyer Kerry L. Armstrong
If you are facing a felony robbery charge, you need a defense lawyer who can provide exceptional representation and strong support. At Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our team has a record of success in defending a wide range of robbery and theft charges in California. We will take the proper steps to protect your rights and your interests. Specifically, our aggressive San Diego, California robbery defense attorneys are prepared to:
- Conduct a confidential review of the robbery charges and the evidence;
- Take the time to understand your situation and answer your questions;
- Comprehensively investigate your case — obtaining relevant exonerating evidence; and
- Craft the defense strategy that makes the most sense for your case.
If you were charged with robbery in California, you need a fully personalized defense. There is no one ‘right’ defense strategy to robbery charges. We will build the proper defense for your case — whether that means fighting aggressively to get illegitimate robbery charges dismissed or working toward a plea agreement that keeps you out of prison and protects your future.
Get Help From Our San Diego, CA, Robbery Defense Lawyer Today
At Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, our top-rated California criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling robbery charges.
If you or your loved one was charged with robbery or any related criminal offense in San Diego County, we can help. To arrange an initial consultation, contact us today.
We defend robbery charges in San Diego and throughout the region in Chula Vista, Carlsbad, Oceanside, National City, and Santee.