What is PC 211 in California?
Penal Code 211 governs the crime of robbery and is considered as a felony in California. Robbery is defined as the “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.” Consequently, for the taking to constitute a robbery, the possession must be taken from either the owner’s person or in his or her immediate presence.
What are the Penalties for Robbery in California?
The amount and/or value of the personal property taken during a robbery is immaterial. Therefore, no matter how slight the value of the property taken is, if you commit a robbery, you face the same punishment for committing the crime as you would had you robbed a bank. According to PC 213, punishment for a conviction of robbery is as follows:
- First degree robbery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three to six years. If the first degree robbery is committed by three or more people, the punishment can increase to up to nine years in a state prison.
- Second degree robbery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two to five years.
- Attempted robbery, a situation in which the intent to commit robbery is evident but not accomplished, is also punishable by imprisonment.
Armed Robbery is a More Serious Crime than Robbery
Armed robbery is usually considered to be more serious than a robbery which is committed without a weapon present. Consequently, an armed robbery conviction is subject to additional prison time with the number of years added to sentencing being dependent upon the type and number of firearms used in the commission of the crime.
In a case of an armed robbery trial (or any robbery trial), much of the prosecutor’s case relies on the identification of the alleged defendant and whether or not the alleged victim is able to identify the defendant beyond any doubt. Identification is usually established through a physical lineup or photo array, a process that can frequently be proven to be tainted in some way. Other factors that determine the validity of the prosecutor’s case is the determination of whether or not a case has been developed that preserves the rights of the defendant and that due process was received by the defendant. If the identification process is able to be suppressed or the rights of the defendant were violated, the evidence collected by the prosecution may be thrown out and no case pursued.
How Can a Los Angeles Robbery Defense Lawyer Help?
An experienced and skilled robbery criminal defense lawyer will often attempt to suppress evidence of a weapon in an alleged robbery by challenging the procedures used to obtain the weapon. Police officers must follow precise search and seizure procedures in order to be able to use evidence obtained in court. If the police fail to adhere to those procedures, a criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence, such as a weapon obtained during an illegal search and seizure. In simple terms, suppressing evidence may help your case and reduced from armed robbery to unarmed robbery or larceny. Each case is dependent on the circumstance which surround the case. A skilled Los Angeles robbery criminal defense attorney may even be able to dismiss your case entirely.