Under California law, robbery is a crime involving taking another person’s property by fear or force. Robbery is considered a felony in California and is punishable by up to 9 years in state prison. If the crime involves weapons or the victim has experienced “great bodily injury”, then a defendant may face additional charges. When several robbery incidents are involved, the defendant could even face life imprisonment if convicted. In addition, robbery is a “strike” under the California’s “Three Strike Law”, which raises the stakes more. In case you are charged with robbery, you should look for an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney who will tirelessly fight the charges and ensure that your rights are protected.
California Penal Code 211
California Penal Code 211 states robbery as the felonious taking of personal property possessed by another person from them or their immediate presence, against their will using fear or force. The law defines fear in two ways:
An intent is among the common legal defenses used by lawyers in robbery charge cases. For instance, if the defendant did not intend to take the possessions, but only utilized force or fear for another purpose, the defendant can’t be found culpable of robbery. In the same manner, if the property was taken accidentally, the defendant cannot be guilty of robbery.
In addition, if a person takes someone else’s property but achieves this without the use of force, then it cannot be termed as robbery. Also, taking property that lawfully belongs to you from another person is not robbery. Robbery has to involve unlawful taking of property belonging to someone else by use of force or fear.
Robbery cases have the potential of mistaken identity due to use of surveillance cameras to capture the alleged offenders. An unclear video or in some instances, an odd resemblance, might lead to false charges. The video obtained from surveillance cameras has to be completely clear for proper identification of the offender or offenders. In some cases, witnesses or victims might misidentify the suspect, leading to false charges.
There are a number of complex elements involved in robbery cases and the stakes are very high. It is for this reason that you should engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert E. Levy on your side in case you are facing robbery charges. Robert E. Levy will do everything possible to make sure your side is heard. It is advisable not to speak with the authorities or media in the absence of an attorney. When facing robbery charges you are likely to be high on emotions and you might make statements that will complicate your case further. Therefore, it is significant to immediately get in touch with Robert E. Levy once you face these allegations so that he can guide you through the dos and don’ts of the process.
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