The crime of robbery is a serious offense in California. Not only is robbery a felony that can result in harsh punishment, it is also an offense that can result in a “strike” under California’s “Three Strikes” law. In other words, the crime of robbery can result not only in severe penalties in the short term, it can also be used to significantly enhance punishment for future offenses. If you have been arrested on a robbery charge, or if you believe that an arrest or indictment is likely in the near future, an experienced San Bernardino or Riverside theft crimes lawyer can help you defend yourself in a court of law. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we regularly handle robbery cases and other serious felony offenses, and we make it our priority to work towards the best outcome for each and every client we represent.
Under California Penal Code § 211, the crime of robbery is defined as the felonious taking of another’s personal property either from his or her person or in his or her immediate presence. In order for there to be a conviction under this statute, the State of California must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant took the victim’s property against his or her will and accomplished such theft by using force or through fear. If the State is not able to prove each and every element of the crime of robbery, the defendant cannot be convicted of this particular crime. However, he or she may still face punishment for a lesser included offense, such as grand theft.
There are several possible defenses to a robbery charge, some of which are constitutional in nature and some of which are factual. Constitutional defenses include issues such as unlawful search and seizure, a violation of the defendant’s right to counsel, or the unlawful questioning of the defendant without advising him or her of the right to remain silent. Factual defenses may include mistaken identity, false accusation, or failure of one of the elements necessary for conviction, such as an honest belief that the defendant had a right to take the property in question. The defendant may also be able to argue that the property in question was not within the victim’s immediate presence or that no force or fear was used in the commission of the offense.
It is important that the defendant understand any and all possible defenses to the crime of robbery because conviction of this criminal offense can result in up to six years in state prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000. It should be noted that if the defendant applies force or fear to more than one person in order to commit the offense of robbery, he or she may face multiple counts – and much harsher punishment – than if only a single victim is involved. A robbery conviction can come with sentence enhancements in some cases, especially if the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on the victim or uses a gun during the crime.
If you are facing an accusation of robbery or a related offense, it is wise to talk to a lawyer about your case as soon as you can. Even if you qualify for a public defender, you should consider hiring your own attorney if at all possible. A lot is riding on your case, and a conviction can not only sent you to prison, but also result in many other negative consequences, some of which may affect you for the rest of your life. To set up an appointment with The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, call us at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online. We represent the criminally accused throughout Riverside and San Bernardino, and are here to assist in the defense of a variety of theft crimes, as well as violent crimes, domestic violence, sex crimes, and drug crimes.