Robbery -- A Serious Felony (Cal. Pen. C. 211) and a Grand Theft Person (Cal. Pen. C. 487(c))

California Penal Code Section 211 defines robbery as the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, against their will, through the use of force or fear. Robbery is a serious offense (a strike) in California, carrying severe penalties and often imprisonment (not just county jail). In this blog post, we will explore how violations of Penal Code Section 211 occur, common defenses that can be raised, potential alternative pleas, and the associated sentences.

  1. How Robbery Violations Occur: Robbery can occur in various ways, but it typically involves the following elements:
  • The act of taking someone else's property.
  • The property is in the possession of another person.
  • The property is taken against the person's will.
  • The use of force, fear, or intimidation is employed during the theft.
  1. Common Defenses for Robbery Charges: Defendants facing robbery charges have the right to present defenses to challenge the accusations against them. Some common defenses include:
  • Lack of intent: The defendant may argue that they did not have the intent to commit robbery, or deprive someone of their property, or that their actions were misinterpreted.
  • Lack of force or fear: If the alleged robbery did not involve the use of force or fear, the defense may assert that it should be considered a lesser offense.
  • Mistaken identity: The defense may argue that the defendant was wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the robbery.
  1. Potential Alternative Pleas: In some cases, defendants and their attorneys may explore alternative pleas to reduce the severity of the charges or seek a more favorable outcome. These alternative pleas may include:
  • Plea bargain for lesser charges: The defendant may negotiate with the prosecution to plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as theft or petty theft, which carries less severe penalties. A common counter offer by attorneys is a plea to California Penal Code Section 487(c) -- Grand Theft Person. 
  • Conditional plea: The defendant may choose to enter a conditional plea, wherein they plead guilty but request specific conditions or programs as part of their sentencing.
  1. Sentencing for Robbery Convictions: The penalties for a robbery conviction in California can vary based on several factors, including the circumstances of the offense, the use of weapons, and the defendant's criminal history. Generally, robbery is classified as a felony offense and carries potential consequences such as:
  • Imprisonment: A conviction for robbery can result in a significant prison sentence, ranging from several years to life imprisonment.
  • Fines: The court may impose substantial fines in addition to the prison sentence.
  • Restitution: The defendant may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim for any losses suffered as a result of the robbery.

Conclusion: Violations of California Penal Code Section 211 (robbery) are serious offenses with severe consequences. It is crucial for individuals facing robbery charges to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the case, present strong defenses, explore potential alternative pleas, and work towards a favorable outcome. Understanding the complexities of robbery charges and seeking skilled legal representation is essential to protect one's rights and mitigate the potential impact of a conviction.

Keywords: California Penal Code Section 211, 487c, robbery, violations, defenses, alternative pleas, sentences, criminal defense, felonious taking, force, fear, intent, mistaken identity, plea bargain, conditional plea, imprisonment, fines, restitution, criminal law.