Los Angeles Robbery Lawyer
When you hear the term “robbery,” you probably think of a masked individual holding a gun to someone’s head while demanding money or some other item of value. While this situation certainly is considered robbery, the offense is defined much more broadly under California law and can include purse-snatching, shoving a security guard while shoplifting, and stealing the belongings of a person who has been drugged. Robbery is considered a violent crime in California, and if you’re facing charges for this offense, there is a strong possibility that you will have to serve a lengthy prison term if convicted. Because of this, it’s imperative that you contact a Los Angeles robbery lawyer if you’re being accused this offense.
At Spolin Law P.C., our criminal defense team has a long history of success in defending individuals facing robbery allegations. By using legal motions and thoroughly investigating your situation, we can compile a strong case that could potentially keep you out of prison. Call us today at (310) 424-5816 to learn more through a free consultation with a violent crimes lawyer.
Robbery and the California Penal Code
California Penal Code (PC) 211 defines robbery as “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.” Purse-snatching is a common form of robbery because it involves taking something from another person by force. Regardless of the specific actions you’ve been accused of committing, if you cause someone to fear for their safety while demanding they give you an item that belongs to them, you face serious charges,
PC 212.5 separates robbery into two degrees:
- First-Degree Robbery – This offense occurs if you take the belongings of a taxi driver, bus operator, any person operating a vehicle, passengers in any of these modes of transportation, or people in an occupied dwelling. First-degree robbery can also happen when someone who uses an ATM, has just used an ATM, or is in the general vicinity of an ATM has their belongings forcefully taken from them.
- Second-Degree Robbery – All other types of robbery are classified as second-degree.
While being accused of a robbery may feel overwhelming, there are many ways your robbery attorney can defend your name and reputation. For example, part of California’s legal definition of robbery is that force or fear was used to take another’s property. If you can prove that the property was given to you without the use of force or fear, you may be able to use that as a defense.
Other applicable defenses to robbery charges include:
- Self Defense – If someone attacked you and you simply tried to defend yourself, your robbery lawyer can use this as a defense.
- Entrapment – If a police officer tricked you into committing a crime you would not have committed otherwise, you can use entrapment as a defense.
- Duress – If you were acting out of fear of harm, your robbery attorney can argue that your alleged crime occurred under duress.
- Mistaken Identity – If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the person who committed the robbery, you may be able to use mistake of identity as a valid defense.
Penalties for Robbery
In California, robberies are always charged as felonies, meaning a conviction can hold serious consequences.
For a first-degree robbery, you face:
- Three, six, or nine years in prison
- Fines reaching $10,000
A second-degree robbery conviction can result in:
- Two, three, or five years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
If there are aggravating factors in your case, such as the use and/or discharge of a firearm during the commission of an offense, your sentence could be enhanced.
California’s Three Strikes Law
If you’re facing penalties for a robbery conviction in California, it’s important to be aware of California’s Three Strikes law. This statute details harsh penalties for repeat offenders in the state. Codified in PC 667, any person previously convicted of a serious or violent felony must serve twice the amount of time normally served for a crime if it is their second conviction. If you’re convicted of a third offense, your sentence is enhanced to 25 years to life.
Robbery is considered a serious crime in California, so if you have previous felony convictions, contact a robbery attorney as soon as possible so that you have a better chance at retaining your rights and avoiding a harsh, lengthy prison sentence.
Collateral Consequences of Robbery
Beyond the statutory penalties of a robbery conviction, there are a number of collateral consequences of being charged or convicted with a robbery offense, including:
- Strained personal relationships
- Inability to obtain or maintain certain professional licenses
- Maintaining employment
- Change in or adjustment to your child visitation or custody arrangements
- Difficulty finding rental housing
- Trouble getting into school or obtaining financial aid
- Impact to your immigration status (or deportation if you are undocumented)
- Loss of your ability to vote for a period of time
- Loss of your right to own firearms
The collateral penalties of a robbery conviction can have long-lasting effects on your life that stretch far beyond your court proceedings and time in prison, so it is important to retain the counsel of a Los Angeles robbery lawyer from Spolin Law P.C. if you want to ensure you have the best criminal defense possible as you face these possibilities.
A Los Angeles Robbery Attorney Can Help
The criminal defense attorney you choose to represent you can make all the difference in whether you are imprisoned or get to keep your freedom. As a defendant in a criminal robbery case, you should call an attorney from Spolin Law P.C. for help in your defense. Our criminal defense lawyers are familiar with common prosecution tactics used in robbery cases, and we will use this knowledge to tailor a defense to your specific needs.