Aggressive Modesto Criminal Defense Lawyer Skillfully Defending Clients Accused of Serious Felony Crimes
Robbery is a crime involving taking another person’s property by force or threat. While the facts underlying a robbery arrest vary widely, all robberies are considered “strikes” under the California Three Strikes law, meaning a conviction doesn’t only put you are risk of a lengthy jail term but also increases your exposure for any future arrest. If you are facing robbery charges, you need an experienced attorney who not only knows the law but is also prepared to put in the work to get you the result you are looking for. At the Law Office of Rebecka A. Monez, we have successfully handled countless robbery cases on behalf of our clients and know what it takes to beat even the toughest cases.
What Is Robbery in California?
Under Penal Code § 211, robbery is defined 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.” This requires the prosecution to prove each of the following elements:
- You took personal property belonging to another person;
- You took the property in their presence;
- You did not have the owner’s permission to take the property; and
- You used “force or fear” to carry out the theft.
When it comes to the “force or fear” element, you don’t necessarily need to hurt someone or even threaten to hurt them; it’s enough to imply a threat based on your actions. For example, walking up to someone with your hand in your pocket such that it looks like you could be armed would likely be enough for prosecutors to charge you with robbery.
Degrees of Robbery
Robbery is always a felony. It is also always considered a strike under the Three Strikes Law. However, a robbery offense can be charged as either first-degree or second-degree robbery. By default, robberies are graded as second-degree felonies unless one of the following applies, in which case the crime is graded as a first-degree robbery:
- The alleged robbery victim is the driver of a bus, taxicab, cable car, streetcar, trackless trolley, or other vehicle;
- The alleged robbery victim was using an ATM machine; or
- The alleged robbery occurred in a home, trailer or any other occupied building.
First-degree robbery carries a base prison term of up to six years, while second-degree robbery carries a base prison term of up to five years. However, these sentences do not reflect any sentencing enhancements that may apply, which are common in robbery cases.
Sentencing Enhancements in Robbery Cases
Because robbery, by definition, involves some element of threat or force, prosecutors often bring sentencing enhancements in addition to the underlying robbery offense. Under California law, judges either have the ability to or are required to apply enhancements to your sentence in certain situations. Most robbery sentencing enhancements fall into three categories: gun enhancements, gang enhancements, and bodily injury enhancements. For example, if anyone involved in a robbery was armed with a gun, everyone who took part in the crime faces a sentencing enhancement under Penal Code § 12022, which adds a year to their sentence. However, if you personally used the gun during the commission of the robbery, the enhancement will add ten years to the sentence.
Gang enhancements are also common in robbery cases. Under Penal Code 186.22, if you committed a robbery “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in criminal conduct by gang members,” it can add up to ten years onto your sentence.
Are You Facing Robbery Charges in Stanislaus County?
If you were recently arrested and charged with robbery, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney by your side at every step of the process. At the Law Office of Rebecka A. Monez, we aggressively defend the rights of our clients who face serious robbery charges, helping them beat their cases so they can move on with their lives. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 209-488-4959. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.